OPPONENTS Manchester City
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Saturday 26th September 2015
VENUE White Hart Lane


Unable to prepare a preview for this match.
PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    1         Manchester City    2
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Last season's corresponding fixture

BT Sport 1 - (live coverage)
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Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.20 - 23.50 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (highlights)  Also available online.

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Tottenham Hotspur  4 (1)                                                                       
Premier League
Saturday 26th September 2015
White Hart Lane
Manchester City  1 (1)

Kick off 12:45
Dier  44m 27s
Alderweireld  49m 32s
Kane  60m 20s
Lamela  78m 11s
de Bruyne  24m 27s
Lamela (foul on Kolarov)  56
Dier (foul on Fernandinho)  59
Eriksen (kicking ball away)  65
Alli (foul on Roberts)  88
Kane (foul on Otamendi)  90+4


Dimeichelis (dissent) 45 + 2  



Crowd :   35,867 Weather :  Warm, sunny
Referee :  Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Beck; Mr. J. Collin
Fourth Official :  Anthony Taylor -
Manchester City kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Manchester City : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

  2  Kyle WALKER
33  Ben DAVIES

20  Dele ALLI      
15  Eric DIER      

11  Erik LAMELA         (28  Tom CARROLL  87)
23  Christian ERIKSEN       (22  Nacer CHADLI  68)
  7  Heung-Min SON  (14  Clinton N'JIE  77)

10  Harry KANE      

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
  3  Danny ROSE

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
17  Andros TOWNSEND

  13  Willy CABELLERO

11  Aleksander KOLOROV 
30  Niclas OTAMENDI
26  Martin DEMICHELIS      
  3  Bacary SAGNA

25  FERNANDINHO  (  8  Samir NASRI  69)

16  Kevin de BRUYNE 
42  Yaya TOURE  (15  Jesus NAVAS  56) 
  7  Raheem STERLING

10  Sergio AGUERO  (27  Patrick ROBERTS  86)

Unused subs: 
  1  Joe HART
  5  Pablo ZABALETA
62  Brandon BARKER
70  George EVANS

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Manuel Pellegrini
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Etihad Airways
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

"It's times like these you learn to love again" - Foo Fighters 'Times Like These'.

With the brilliance of the blue sky overhead, Spurs dismantled a shoddy Sky Blues team that took the lead, but had no answer to the four goals rattled in by Tottenham, as they recorded a remarkable victory over Manchester City at White Hart Lane.

For all the weeping and wailing there had been about Tottenham's start to the season, Harry Kane's goal drought and the merits or dis-merits of some of the Spurs players, it is days like these which show what can be achieved and justify why we got o watch Tottenham Hotspur.  It is not going to be the mind-numbing psychobabble football of Mourinho; not the hit and miss ego-philosophy of van Gaal or the un-seeing eye for a win that Wenger puts out there.  It is done the Tottenham Way.  And the sooner that most Spurs fans appreciate that the better that will be.

Cat-calls and boos for when the ball is played backwards to our keeper are not  going to help.  Slagging off players for giving the ball away that leads to a goal conceded only serves to give them second doubts about playing a possibly decisive pass next time.  We are currently fielding the youngest average aged team in the Premier League and have so far only lost once in that competition.  The defeat to Arsenal raised doubts in some minds about the ability of the team and the ability of the manager to pick a decent team.  Today, he got things spot on.

Yes, we may have been helped by some officiating of gross ineptitude, with the linesmen trying to emulate Clattenberk's level of uselessness, but City wouldn't have been ahead if they had got things right and we scored two goals that were onside to Man City's none.  The fact that we were winners in the number of yellow cards was a joke.  Five cards to City's one, which was for dissent by Dimichelis' arguments about the first Spurs goal scored by Eric Dier, when Kolorov was in the referee's face, laying hands on him and then moving onto the linesman for almost every incident he was involved in.  There were also incidents where the visitors could have been booked but the referee (I am unable to find another acceptable term for him at the moment) deemed them to be totally different to those committed by Spurs players.  Kolorov was particularly guilty here, having been spoken to once before fouling again and not even being talked to again.

Then, the only stats that will be remembered from this game will be the ones that say Spurs 4 Man City 1.

The visitors' manager Manuel Pellegrini made the surprising decision to rest Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany, who didn't even make the bench as he was injured in the warm-up.  With David Silva missing too, he paired Fernando and Fernandinho as the defensive midfield couple, playing Yaya Toure in an advanced position.

Tottenham had struggled to maintain possession in the first half and the final pass was often not finding it's intended target.  One early move between Son and Eriksen, restored to the Spurs side in place of Chadli, almost worked, but Lamela had strayed offside.  That was one that they got right !  Both sides were probing the other's defences and City were starting to string some passes together, with de Bruyne blazing well wide from distance before Alderweireld hit  along diagonal ball from the right to Davies on the left in the City half.  He took the ball on the volley and cushioned it to Lamela in the box, but he was crowded out for a corner.  Back at the Spurs end, Ben did well to stop Sagna getting a cross in, but then Yaya Toure took a pass from de Bruyne and struck a shot a good way wide when well-placed, not having made the proper contact with it.  City were looking dangerous and a neat move on the edge of the box saw Aguero control Fernando's pass before firing a low shot to Lloris' left, which he got down to well to fingertip it wide for a corner, when it looked like creeping inside the post.

Spurs were on the back foot, with Sagna putting a ball across the face of goal that Aguero couldn't reach and then they took the lead with a break of pace and accuracy.  Tottenham won a corner when Son was played in by Lamela and the ball deflected off Kolorov.  It was played short and between Eriksen, Lamela and Walker the ball was played around in the right wing corner, until Walker tried a square ball to Christian, but he was on his heels and the ball was in front of him.  The ball was played out of defence and Toure took it forward from inside his own half to the edge of the Spurs box, where he played it out right to de Bruyne.  The big money Belgian drilled a low shot that went through Lloris and found the net to give City a 1-0 lead.  The Spurs crowd dug out Walker for giving the ball away, but Eriksen was as much to blame, as, although he ran back, Toure eased past him and then Hugo had a go at Kyle, when earlier, the keeper had lofted a back-pass out, straight to Sterling.  Luckily nothing came of that.

Spurs were quick to hit back with Son forcing Cabellero to a low stop at his right hand post, while Aguero played the ball to Sterling just inside the box and he came inside to a central position to strike a low drive, forcing the Tottenham keeper to dive full length to his right to get his palm to it and push it wide.  It might not have looked much, but it was a very good save and was to prove more valuable than it seemed at the time.  Unfortunately, when Spurs attacked, Harry Kane's goal drought seemed to be getting the better of him.  He picked up the ball when Otamendi completely missed his kick and Harry decided to shoot, when Eriksen outside him to his right was perhaps the better option.  The ball went across Cabellero, but went wide of the goal to the left.

Lloris was at it again, successfully pushing away Ferdandinho's low cross before Tottenham got forward with Davies making a good run up the left, but his cross was slightly behind the Spurs men in the box and when Lamela got to the ball, he fired it was into the Paxton crowd.  Lamela had another chance five minutes before the break, but it was blocked by a defender, but the ball bounced to Kane, standing in the D right on the 18 yard line.  The ball got stuck under his feet, so quickly did it come to him, but he dug it out and fired a shot to the keeper's right and Cabellero dived to push the shot aside.

City then had a little spell of domination when Ageuro made space for a shot bin the box, but Jan Vertonghen was close to him and blocked it, then Sterling led a break up the left and set up Kolorov for a pile-driver that Hugo beat out well.  With half-time approaching, it looked as though it would be 0-1, but then, out of the blue, Eric Dier hit the equaliser for Spurs.  Even at the ground, it looked as though Kyle Walker was obviously offside, but not to the linesman two yards behind him.  The low ball along the six yard line was tantalising and Son ran in, but Cabellero was close to him and blocked the effort.  The ball ran out loose into the penalty area and Kevin de Bruyne tried to play the ball out with a short pass to Ferdandinho just outside the box, but Dier had read the play and ran in to win the ball by firing it back towards goal.  With the City defence failing to react after the save, the ball flew about six inches off the floor all the way into the net off the keeper's right hand post.  The crowd erupted and the players all joined in celebrating with Eric, whose overall performance was outstanding today.

Always a good psychological time to score, the half-time break probably changed both manager's team-talks and with the away team going in on a low, it would be interesting to see how they responded to that hammer blow moments before added time.

It transpired that they didn't react very well.  Son, as he did against Palace, closed down early after the restart and his industry forced Sagna into kicking the bal straight off the pitch.  Davies failed to pick out our Korean favourite with a cross and Toure tried to place a shot from the 18 yard line, but only placed it straight at Lloris.  When Otamendi looked to tidy up a long pass forward on the Spurs right wing, it seemed a straightforward task, but with Tottenham's closing down, Kane got in front of him and nudged the ball forward before the City defender clattered into him to give away a free-kick.  Lamela stepped up to take it and the ball got to the near post, where Cabellero came for it, but was nowhere near it, allowing Toby Alderweireld to rise above Fernando to head the ball into an empty net.  Coming five minutes after half-time, it was the perfect time to score, as City hadn't really settled and completing that turnaround must have knocked a lot of confidence out of their team.  Toby took it well and looked delighted to have got off the mark for Spurs.

Spurs really had a taste for it now.  Son showed some neat footwork to turn away from the two City defensive midfielders and his ball was looking to set Kane through, but Demichelis just got a head to it.   Eriksen then lifted a ball towards the far post, but Sagna denied Son the chance to get on the end of it.  City took Toure off and replaced him with Jesus Navas, but not even Jesus was able to save them, the way Tottenham were playing.

The aggression Spurs were showing was paying dividends as they won challenges and Kolorov was whingeing more and more to the referee, who seemed willing to be criticised the whole game.  The City full back was even at it after the match finished ... and still didn't end up in the book.  That aggression wasn't appreciated by Clattenberk, who booked Spurs players for tackled he had spoken to City players for.  It was even more surprising that he didn't get his book out when Alderweireld played the ball to Lamela and he ran at the heart of the City defence from just over halfway and was unceremoniously brought crashing down by Demichelis.  A free-kick 25 yards out just to right of centre means only one thing ... Christian Eriksen.  Up stepped our Danish prince to bend a free-kick over the wall and strike the angle of post and bar with a shot that left Cabellero grasping thin air up to his left.  The ball bounced back out though, with the City defence static and the first to react was Harry Kane, who had to take the shot first time and managed to loop the ball into the opposite top corner that Eriksen had hit, with the keeper laying prone on the floor.

It must have been a relief for the striker to get on the score-sheet and while the ball arced towards the top corner, it looked for a moment as if it would go over the bar, but when it dropped in the chants of "He's one of our own" followed shortly after.

Spurs were hunting in packs now.  Winning the ball and breaking in numbers, City looked vulnerable every time they went forward.  When Lamela passed straight to a dark blue shirt instead of Eriksen when they were on the attack, the groans rang out, but the player ran back down the line to win the ball with a tackle on Sterling.  City were still trying to get back in the game and a mazy run by Navas down their right ended with him smashing a shot at goal from an angle inside the box, but Lloris was equal to it and helped the rising effort over the bar.  From the corner, Aguero had his shot blocked and the ball ran to Sterling, who scuffed his shot wide.

Chadli had replaced Eriksen and City brought on the never popular Nasri for Ferdandinho.  The move was inspired by Pellegrini, as the ex-Gooner barely had a decent touch in the remaining 20 minutes and Spurs enjoyed dominance in midfield, with their energy and passing too much for the visitors to cope with.  Kane's ball across the face of goal could be reached by Lamela, but he chased it beyond the far post, played it to Walker, who managed to win a corner from the ball which hadn't give him much chance to do much with.  From the right wing corner, Chadli won the near post header this time and Son touched it over the line at the far post.  Unfortunately, he was offside in doing so and probably didn't need to touch it anyway, as it looked to be creeping inside the post.

Kane now had a taste for goal and when Lamela broke away, played the ball to Chadli, who passed it on to Kane, he went outside of a defender in the right channel of the penalty area and smashed a drive that Cabellero pushed out.  Nasri tried to silence the chorus of boos every time he got the ball by hitting a shot at goal, but it rose up towards the upper tier in the Paxton as he was further derided by the Tottenham support.

Son was taken off fifteen minutes from the end to give Clinton N'Jie a run out.  And did he run !!  Taking a ball out of defence by Toby he took a touch and spun Kolorov, leaving him for dead as he ran up the right wing.  He struck an early ball low across the 18 yard line for Erik Lamela, who was onside.  Demichelis over-ran the ball, as Lamela stopped it.  Cabellero had closed him down, but Erik stepped to the keeper's right, Demichelis had dropped back behind the keeper, but for some reason went to ground, as did the Cabellero, while Lamela stayed cool and shot with his left foot past both of them and hit the back of the net to make it 4-1.  He showed that while he may not succeed all the time, he is not afraid to  score goals the way he wants.  It just shows the difference a goal makes, as all the Spurs fans I heard going home said it was the best performance he has had for the club.  His hard work was rewarded by the goal he got and he showed that when he is on the ball, he can be a player who can cause damage to the opposition.

City were giving it a go to reduce the deficit, with Navas firing over the bar, Vertonghen took the sting out of an Aguero shot for Hugo to collect and de Bruyne's free-kick dipped over the wall, but again our keeper held it without much trouble as it aimed for the top corner, but didn't quite make it.  With Carroll replacing Lamela, the players held onto the ball quite well, with some ole's when they passed between themselves.  The final whistle saw the BT cameramen run onto the pitch not knowing who to focus on, such was the strength of the Tottenham team performance.  For such a young team, there was some huge maturity shown by Dier and Alli, while the likes of Carroll, Davies, Kane and N'Jie are all players who have years ahead of them.  Vertonghen and Alderweireld are looking to be forming a solid central partnership, while Davies had an outstanding day, with Walker playing solidly save for that one pass.  Eriksen looks little off with his final pass at the moment, but coming back into the side did well, while Son ran and ran and showed good skill on the ball as Lamela did too.  Harry Kane led the line well and never gave up, so hopefully the goals will flow a little more freely for him having unblocked his drought.  And a mention for the subs, who all played their part in the win, with good fresh legs and their contribution helped take the game out of City's reach.

Not to forget Mauricio Pochettino.  His selection and tactics overcame a City side, who have been our bÍte noir over the last few seasons.  They perhaps showed a bit of complacency in their team selection and their approach to the game, but even though they had more shot than Spurs (22 to 15) they still only got the same number (eight) on target and Lloris did well to keep some of them out, but others failed to trouble him beyond what would be considered normal.  While our record against the top sides has been poor in recent times, losing out by an own goal at United and thrashing City might spell a change in that statistic.   One thing that the side need to establish, and that can be hard with a young team, is consistency.  That will be the next challenge for Pochettino.

The chants aimed at the City contingent rang out at half-time, "Where were you when you were crap?"
Surely, the appropriate response today would have been "We are here".

As it turned out, by the time I got out and looked at the Internet, de Bruyne, Walker (for Dier's goal) and Kane had all been offside when the goals were scored.  But so what ?  We were 4-1 winners at the end.  I might have been a bit peeved if we had been on the other end of the score-line, but I have been in the same circumstances often enough in the past.

My wife said to me as I left her in the morning, "Have a good time at football" and like normal, when we have played City of late, I replied "Probably not." 
"Then why do you go ?" she asked.
"For the unexpected," was my answer.
And it certainly was that.  And it's times like these you learn to love again.

Steven Parsons

Tottenham's starting XI against City had an average age of 24 years and 40 days.  The youngest in the Premier League so far this season.
Harry Kane's goal for Spurs was the 150th scored in the Premier League in 2015-16.



Manchester City resorted to go to an advertising agency back in the 1960s, when their Citizens nickname was deemed out-dated.  The company were asked to engage in some blue sky thinking to create a new nick-name for the club and presented City with the more modern sounding "Sky Blues" ... charging them the then hefty sum of £250,000 for coming up with something the club had already suggested to them in the original brief.


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What you thought
Benny The Ball City had some of the worst player son the pitch and these are some of them that are raved about by so called pundits.  Yaya Toure was slow and got caught on the ball so often.  Kolorov spent more time telling the ref what he should be doing than concentrating on what he should be doing and Demichelis looked slow and inept.  Cabellero looked suspect and his decision making let the team down.  Sagna was poor, de Bruyne hit a couple of crosses behind the goal, which you might not expect after paying all that money and even Aguero, the scourge of our defence in the last four years, looked a shadow of his former self.  His body language indicated that there was something not right there.

And that was probably due to the performance the Spurs boys put in today.  The first half was not so Tottenham like, but after the break, they closed every dark blue shirt on the ball and the space that their passes might have gone into. The effort and skill on display shows great hope for the future if they can keep it up.

- -.



Other scores during this week :
Leicester City 2 Arsenal 5 Saturday
Liverpool 3 Aston Villa 2 Saturday
Manchester United 3 Sunderland 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 2 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Southampton 3 Swansea City 1 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Bournemouth 1 Saturday
West Ham United 2 Norwich City 2 Saturday
Watford 0 Crystal Palace 1 Sunday
West Bromwich Albion - - - -day
Everton - - - -day



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 7 5 1 1 12 5 16 +7
2 Manchester City 7 5 0 2 13 6 15 +7
3 West Ham United 7 4 1 2 15 7 13 +8
4 Arsenal 7 4 1 2 10 7 13 +3
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 7 3 3 1 9 5 12 +4
6 Crystal Palace 7 4 0 3 9 7 12 +2
7 Leicester City 7 3 3 1 15 14 12 +1
8 Liverpool 7 3 2 2 7 9 11 -2
9 Everton 6 2 4 1 8 5 9 +3
10 Southampton 7 2 3 2 10 9 9 +1
11 Swansea City 7 2 3 2 8 8 9 0
12 Norwich City 7 2 3 2 11 12 9 -1
13 Watford 7 2 3 2 5 6 9 -1
14 West Bromwich Albion 6 2 2 2 4 6 8 -2
15 Chelsea 7 2 2 3 11 14 8 -3
16 Bournemouth 7 2 1 4 9 11 7 -2
17 Stoke City 7 1 3 3 7 10 6 -3
18 Aston Villa 7 1 1 5 8 12 4 -4
19 Newcastle United 7 0 3 4 5 11 3 -6
20 Sunderland 7 0 2 5 6 16 2 -10


Position before match :  9th
Position after match :  5th
Position after the weekend :


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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