Spurs went into this game as favourites after playing some scintillating football over the last few weeks – the thrashing of Tony Pulis’ West Brom last weekend and outclassing Antonio Conte’s Chelsea a fortnight ago. City on the other hand were looking a depleted side coming into the game; losing 4-0 at Everton last Sunday and enduring a very inconsistent season.
Liverpool and Manchester United dropped points earlier in the day, giving Spurs some breathing space as well as the opportunity to pull further ahead and consolidate a place in the top four. But that task was always going to be much easier said than done, especially against a wounded Pep Guardiola side looking to answer their critics.
City came rapid out of the blocks and asked early questions to the Spurs defence and Hugo Lloris. Pablo Zabaleta had an early chance where he found himself in unfamiliar territory right in front of goal, but the presence of Toby Alderweireld put the right-back off and Spurs escaped early City pressure.
Not too long after, Raheem Sterling found himself through on goal, but dragged the ball slightly wide and Danny Rose forced him to delay his shot on goal which Spurs eventually mopped up. Spurs looked surprised at City’s early pressure, but somehow managed to hold out for a 0-0 scoreline at half time. Remarkable.
City however began the second half just as they did the first. Their persistence eventually paid off as Sane put City ahead. Hugo Lloris had an absolute ‘mare as he tried to come out and deal with Kevin De Bruyne’s pass, but found himself in no man’s land when he missed the header which presented Sane with the glorious opportunity to tuck the ball away into an empty Spurs net.
City continued coming forward and soon doubled their lead in the 54th minute. The ball was whipped into the area, which Hugo caught in his hands but then lost grip of the ball and it fell perfectly into Kevin De Bruyne’s feet – the Belgian made no mistake and put City 2-0 ahead. Jubilation for Pep and majority of the spectators at the Etihad, not so much for Pochettino and Spurs.
It was an uphill task for Pochettino’s men from this point on and the win looked all but secured for City. Wrong.
Four minutes after City doubled their lead, Kyle Walker delightfully crossed the ball into the box which Dele Alli headed in. Spurs were back into the game after looking like they were on the brink of losing. A lifeline for the Lilywhites.
Spurs sat back after and invited the City attack forward. They continued to threaten by having a few shots at Lloris’ goal, winning a few corners and really looking to seal the game by scoring another goal. However, Eriksen moved the ball forward for Spurs, something that wasn’t done enough during the game, and managed to find Kane with a pass which the striker then flicked towards the direction of Heung-Min Son – the Korean made absolutely no mistake with his finish, finding the bottom corner of Bravo’s net. Two shots on target, two goals. Spurs somehow have pegged City back after looking like they were on the verge of defeat.
Gabriel Jesus then was sent on by Pep Guardiola in an attempt to revive their lead. The Brazilian looked lively on his Premier League debut and immediately got involved with a cross right across the face of goal which failed to pick out a City player.
Shortly after, the debutant seemed like he had won the game, but was given offside (correctly much to the frustration of Manchester City, but it was a sigh of relief for the Spurs players who done well to weather the storm and see the game out in the end in order to gain a point on Liverpool who lost earlier in the day and stay in second place (for now, at least).
Spurs remain unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions – winning seven and drawing once. We’ve certainly had worse days.
Hugo Lloris – 6.5/10
Eric Dier – 7/10
Toby Alderweireld – 8/10
Kevin Wimmer – 6/10
Kyle Walker – 8/10
Victor Wanyama – 9/10
Mousa Dembele – 8.5/10
Danny Rose – 8.5/10
Christian Eriksen – 7.5/10
Dele Alli – 7.5/10
Harry Kane – 7/10
Heung-Min Son – 8/10
Harry WInks – 8/10
Moussa Sissoko – 7.5/10
Man of The Match:
Victor Wanyama. It could have been much worse without him today. He’s been amazing since he arrived from Southampton during the summer and today was a stand out performance from him. If he continues playing like that, give the man all the spaghetti in the world and keep him here forever. Steal at 11M. Class.
Wycombe Wanderers at home in the Emirates FA Cup. Saturday 28th January. Kick off at 15:00.