Riding on the back of 15 consecutive league victories, Manchester City welcomed Tottenham Hotspurs to the Etihad.
But for the last meeting between these two five months ago where The Citizens ran away 3-nil victors, Spurs had been a tough nut for City to crack. Also, Pep’s record against Poch right from their days at the Spanish La Liga haven’t been glossy either. On the strength of these, it was expected that this match-up was not going to be a walk in the park for a City that have swept away all that have had the not too good fortune of squaring up against them. City had an invincibility to protect, Spurs came into town with the air of ‘The Real Bubble Bursters’. Either way, neutrals weren’t going to be denied a football spectacle, not today!
A game of two sides who have mastered the game of intense pressing. The game started at a frantic pace, both teams harrying and hounding each other into mistakes and off the ball. This went on for the better half of ten minutes with City having the upper hand in the pressing and possession and it ultimately paid off in the 16th minute. City won a corner. Sane took it, and Gundogan nodded home!
Proceedings resumed after the celebrations and City continued from where they left off. Wave after wave of attack, chances went begging. Aguero spurned one, Sane another. Some brief must be held for Spurs for attempting to go toe-to-toe with City. At that, they barely registered a shot on target in the first forty-five minutes. Half-time ended with City a goal up.
The second half resumed with Spurs on the front foot. Spurs bossed the midfield and as a result created a few chances of theirs. Whatever Pochettino told his wards during half-time was clearly working. Spurs’ defence line advanced, their midfield had help and in the first ten minutes of the half, they were over-running City’s midfield – which is a rarity.
Pep had to ring changes and he did. Aguero went off for Jesus, and the balance of play restored to City’s favour. Less than five minutes in, Jesus had his first opportunity to score, Vertoghen to the rescue.
As the game wore on, Spurs sought an equalizer. Their adventure backfired! It left them vulnerable at the back. It was only a matter of time before City scored. On seventy-minutes, from a fast break, De Bruyne doubled City’s lead. From here onwards, it was City all the way.
A plethora of missed chances. A missed Penalty. A brace from Raheem Sterling. There was no stopping City. Christian Eriksen pulled a goal back for Spurs but it was a little too late.
It ended four goals to one in favour of City but it easily could have ended eight-one and Spurs would not have done a thing about it.
Who’s going to stop City now?
Written by: Uwah Kingsley Ogadinma