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It’s Pep vs Jose once again as Manchester City aim to create some parity over their 2nd position in the Premier League when they visit a struggling Tottenham Hotspur. Jose won on the day, with Spurs riding their luck with a 2-0 win to hand City their 6th loss in the Premier League this season.
City were all over a very defensive Spurs side in the first half and even won a penalty-after what felt like an eternity-in the 40th minute. But Iilkay Gundogan saw his penalty saved, keeping it goalless before the break.
City kept missing chances and went down to 10-men in the 61st minute when Oleksandr Zinchenko was sent off. Things went from bad to worse as Spurs debutant Steven Bergwijn scored a stunning goal to open the scoring from Spurs first shot-on-target.
The hosts were rejuvenated by that and doubled their lead in the 71st minute when Son Heung-Min powered a shot into the net. City attempted 8 SHOTS and had 5 on target but couldn’t put the ball into the net even if they tried. With the win, Spurs gave their Champions League ambitions a boost & are 4 points behind 4th place Chelsea.
This damning loss sees them 22 POINTS behind Liverpool, which is the biggest margin in the HISTORY OF ENGLISH LEAGUE SOCCER. But hey, at least they’re still in 2nd place!
Pep Guardiola (4.5) –
Guardiola picked his strongest possible XI but nothing went right for him on the day. Being unable to solve his side’s penalty crisis cost him again. His substitutions were late & wrong today. Hs side were too one-dimensional despite creating all those chances. Pep was outwitted by his rival manager on the day and a potential injury to Sterling summed up a horrible day.
Ederson (5.0) –
Almost had a hand-in-mouth moment in the 11th when Moura pounced on his slacked clearance, but eventually redeemed himself. Unable to do anything about either goal & bit unlucky for Son’s shot to take slight deflection before his goal. Did make an instinctive late save but that didn’t really matter in the end.
Kyle Walker (5.5) –
Flung in an effective low-cross to Aguero for his early chance. Was alert with his timely defensive contributions but his poor clearance eventually led to the opener. Unable to create anything going forward either.
Fernandinho (6.0) –
The skipper’s flinging in effective long-balls to create space for others. Made a few emphatic tackles on Son early on to shut him off. Could’ve done better to block Bergwijn’s goal & Son’s shot deflected off him into goal. He was perhaps City’s best defender, making strong challenges & trying to drive his side forward but only in vain.
Nicolas Otamendi (5.0) –
Otamendi’s actually hasn’t crumbled under pressure, instead making some solid clearances to thwart trouble. Just when it looked he’d be okay today, he makes a mistake in completing losing Son’s presence leading to his goal. Might get sold next summer if his error-prone nature continues.
Aleksandr Zinchenko (4.0) –
The youngster’s being an industrious figure down the left, bombing up & down with intent. Being aggressive with his tackles & picked up a booking for arguing with the referee. Ended up making an amateurish cynical foul at the hour-mark result in another yellow-card and a sending off to pile more pressure on his side.
Rodri (5.0) –
The Spaniard’s maintaining a composed attitude under a high-octane scenario. Stopped a few counter-attacks & moved the ball around pretty quick. But a pretty uneventful performance from the Spaniard nonetheless.
Iilkay Gundogan (4.0) –
Operating in a deeper role trying to stitch together chances. Despite having an amazing penalty record, he saw his 40th minute one saved by Lloris. Then blasts over an open-net chance in the 49th. Ultimately his misses proved fatal as City ended up losing & all his passes were off little relevance in the end.
Kevin de Bruyne (5.5) –
KDB’s keeping up his proactive attitude in attack. Blasted a shot wide from a narrow-angle in the 8th minute. Then pumped one straight at Lloris in the 25th. Started the second period with high intensity, almost earning another penalty early on. Forces a late save with his improvised cross almost curling into the net.
He tried inspiring his side with a tireless showing & putting in inviting crosses only to see nothing click.
Riyad Mahrez (5.0) –
Mahrez’s looks keen on tormenting young Tanganga today. Put in a lovely pass through Winks’ legs for Aguero’s chance. Linked well with De Bruyne before putting in a peach ball into the middle only to see it wasted before the hour-mark. His poor 61st-minute corner eventually led to Zinchenko’s departure.
Despite all his trickery, he lacked the killer pass & ended causing City more harm than good on the day.
Sergio Aguero (5.0) –
Had a big chance to open the scoring in the 9th, but scuffed a weak shot at a Spurs defender. Took Mahrez’s through-ball perfectly in the 27th but his shot struck the bar. Won the penalty cleverly by outwitting Aurier inside the box. Taps in another shot shockingly wide before half-time. All work, no end-result for the Argentine today.
Raheem Sterling (4.0) –
Tried to hilariously win a penalty with a weak fall early on. Lucky not to get booked in the 13th for a stamp on Alli. Wastes a scoring opportunity in the 36th, hitting a shot from close range straight at a defender. Dived again after the penalty save and lucky not to get a 2nd yellow for simulation.
He got bullied by the Spurs defenders as the game grew, barely being able to stamp his figure. A very bad day in the office.
Joao Cancelo (5.5) –
Cancelo brought a bundle of energy down the left, but couldn’t create anything definitive.
Gabriel Jesus (N/R) –
Had one shot saved by Lloris late on.
Bernardo Silva (N/R) –
Tried gaining at least one goal for his side but saw a late shot deflect off a defender and skimmer off the bar.
MAYBE(?) Fernandinho was City’s best player today despite a few errors. Yeah but overall Lloris was captain fantastic for Spurs with his saves & deserves MOTM today.