It was well and truly a "Super Sunday" for Spurs as stunning goals from debutant Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-Min presented a massive victory for Tottenham against the soon to be former Premier League champions Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola will be furious as they wasted multiple glorious chances against their opponent who will be aghast as to how they came away with the victory today.
Controversy, drama, quality, missed chances, handbags and a red card, this game well and truly had it all.
Story of the game
Where to begin.
From the first minutes City were quicker, slicker, smoother and all together far better than their opponent yet it is they who came away with the defeat.
City’s first real chance arrived in the tenth minute with the usually clinical Aguero failing to convert his effort. The chance arrived following Kyle Walker’s cut back from the right hand side, Aguero controlled it expertly as expected but only succeeded in scuffing his shot from 10 yards out allowing the Spurs defender to block the shot thus preventing City from taking the lead.
The game proceeded without much action to report however that all changed in the 28th minute. Aguero with another glorious opportunity to try and exorcise the demons after he missed a penalty in City’s Quarter-Final UEFA Champions League knockout to Spurs last April. The chance occurred after Davinson Sanchez gave the ball away to Riyad Mahrez 35 yards from goal, he slides the ball through to Aguero via a deflection from Harry Winks however the usually efficient striker has his strike brilliantly saved onto the bottom right of the post by Hugo LLoris’ foot.
City kept pressing for the opener and they finally thought it would arrive in the 38th minute after the Blues were awarded a penalty after a shocking tackle by Aurier on Aguero. The decision arrived 2 minutes after the incident took place as referee Mike Dean initially did not award the spot kick and the fact that City still had the ball in an attacking position for that long. However with the aid of VAR Mike Dean eventually pointed to the spot to give Ilkay Gundogan the chance of converting the penalty.
Gundogan, normally so reliable from the spot uncharacteristically missed his penalty as Hugo Lloris guessed correctly to save the German’s effort diving low to his left.
As Spurs thought they were bailed out of jail by their captain, they were almost plunged back in as Gundogan’s effort rebounded to Sterling, Lloris came charging out to prevent the England forward from a tap in, as the Frenchman proceeded Sterling went over appealing for a second penalty in a matter of minutes. Mike Dean and VAR both ruled deemed Sterling’s appeal unworthy as Spurs somehow survived.
The game was at boiling point with both players’ tempers flailing, following Sterling’s unsuccessful appeal to win a 2nd penalty, both sets of players clashed over the decision with City adamant they should have been awarded a second spot kick and Spurs arguing that Sterling should have been sent off for a second yellow card for diving having earnt his first yellow for a foul on England team mate Dele Alli in the 12th minute.
Unsurprisingly City had more chances to take the lead after half time, specifically 3 in the space of 20 seconds. The first chance fell to sterling who was played through on goal, but an excellent tackle from Tanganga prevented the forward from a clear chance against Lloris, the Frenchman then foolishly came out of his goal to clear the ball away only for it to land to Aguero, the Argentine who had no luck in this game finally thought that it would change only for his chip from 20 yards out to be cleared off the line by Alderweireld, just as Spurs thought they had escaped Sterling received the ball from the Belgian’s clearance and this time the Englishman gave the chance to Gundogan to make amends after his penalty miss only to shoot over the bar with only two spurs defenders on the goal line. Somehow after all of those efforts the score line was still 0-0.
The tone of the game remained constant until the 60th minute when a city corner was intercepted by Harry Winks who sprinted away for a counter attack only to be cynically brought down by Zinchencko, the Ukrainian had already been booked following the scuffle in the first half between both sets of players following City’s 2nd penalty appeal. Mike Dean had simply no choice but to send him off thus completely changing the course of the game.
Spurs who had been second best to say the least all game found themselves with an incredible chance of taking all three points from the match and they took that chance just a few minutes later.
63rd minute, corner for Spurs. Short corner played, Harry Winks with the cross to the far post aiming for Alderweireld, the Belgian doesn’t have the chance to head the ball because Kyle Walker intercepts it however his headed clearance only breaks to Lucas Moura who lays it off to Spurs’ debutant Steven Bergwijn, it was a moment the Dutchman would have been dreaming about when he signed earlier this week as he struck a beautiful right footed half-volley past Fernandinho and Ederson into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. Spurs were in delirium having been completely dominated until then, Bergwijn raced away in celebration to eventually being mobbed by his ecstatic Spurs team mates. One shot for Spurs one goal, talk about efficiency.
The ground was rocking, Spurs fans were in full voice singing their chants and as if the ground couldn’t get any louder, it did in the 71st minute. A lovely bit of skill by substitute Tanguay Ndombele enabled him to move past Rodri thus creating enough space to slide through his pass into Son Heung-Min who found himself in an excellent position 20 yards from goal after Otamendi had stepped out of defence to open up that space, with only Ederson at his mercy Son rifled the shot past him into the bottom left of the goal to all but ensure the three points for Tottenham. Spurs 2-0 Manchester City.
City’s miserable day was compounded in the last minute of added time as Bernardo Silva’s right footed cross from the wing was diverted by Davinson Sanchez against his own cross bar as Pep Guardiola suffered back to back defeats without scoring for the first time in his managerial reign for Manchester City.
Takeaways from the match
Testing times for Guardiola
Many would class this game as a “bad day in the office” for Manchester City however this is their second loss this week in a similar fashion where the opponent was dominated by City but somehow came away with the victory. Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly be concerned with City’s lack of a killer touch in front of goal, but thankfully for the Spaniard he now has a whole week to ensure that this does not become a regular habit for City.
Morale boosting win for Jose and Spurs
Spurs will be well aware that they should have lost this game, but credit should be given where it was due, although they rode their luck at times Jose had his team well organised and every one of his players gave their all and they will undoubtedly be delighted with their performance and ultimately the result from today’s match as they closed the gap on fourth placed Chelsea to just four points.
Spurs will aim to take this result and performance into Wednesday as they take on Southampton in a replay of the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.
City have a whole week to correct their errors as they take on West Ham United in a week’s time at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.