Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester City
They’ve had some spectacular clashes over the years, but Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were involved in a belter today as Spurs stunned Manchester City.
The Sky Blues totally dominated the first hour, and we had yet more VAR farce which contributed to the champions’ frustration as they failed to break Spurs down. And after the visitors went down to ten men, on the hour, Jose’s strikers pounced, with new boy Steven Bergwijn and Heung-Min Son scoring with the hosts’ first two shots of the game!
Berwijn’s debut goal was a beauty!
So Premier League: Spurs vs Manchester City wasn’t all about Mourinho and Guardiola but when these two giants of world football come head to head we are guaranteed drama; and today was something else!
There were rumours that Gareth Bale might be set for a dramatic return to Spurs right up to the end of transfer deadline day, but who needs Bale when you have Jose, Bergwijn and VAR?!
Highlights of the game
The Spurs vs Manchester City predictions backed a comfortable Sky Blues win. Well, the goals didn’t come but, wow, we had some action and, not for the first time, a whole bucketful of VAR controversy.
Sergio Aguero is a scoring phenomenon, the go-to man when City need a goal. And he could easily have had a hat-trick before the break, but he was denied once by the outstretched foot of Hugo Lloris and once by the post when he had a good chance from a tight angle.
Then, with five minutes to go to half-time, the game went somewhat crazy. Spurs full back Serge Aurier clipped Aguero in the penalty area, but while the City players appealed referee Mike Dean waved play on. And it must have been a full minute later when he stopped play, with someone from Stockley Park in his ear, and awarded the Sky Blues a spot-kick.
Ilkay Gundogan, a brilliant penalty taker, stepped up and Lloris brilliantly saved, but he parried the ball out into the path of the onrushing Raheem Sterling and then dived at the City striker’s feet appearing to foul him before he could pull the trigger. Chaos ensued as ten players pushed and shoved each other around the penalty area and then Dean waved a few yellow cards and VAR decreed there was to be no second penalty.
And after all that Aguero missed another late chance when the whole Stadium expected the net to bulge.
City had totally dominated the first half and they came out guns blazing again after the break. Lloris slipped as he rushed out of his goal and Sterling passed sideways for Gundogan, but he was stretched and hoofed his effort over the empty goal.
If there’s one criticism I’d level at Pep Guardiola’s City, apart from wastefulness in front of goal, it’s the use of tactical fouls to stop teams breaking out of defence. But sometimes they rack up, and Oleksandr Zinchenko must have forgotten he was already on a yellow when he stopped Harry Winks on the break…and Dean waved a red card at him.
And a minute later, with 62 on the clock, City’s day became worse thanks to a moment of magic from new boy Steven Bergwijn. Lucas Moura chipped a ball over and Bergwijn chested it down with little space to work in some 15 yards out, and then hit a first time beauty low and into the bottom right corner.
That was on 63 minutes and on 71, Spurs doubled the lead when Son found space on the edge of the box to rifle his shot low past Ederson at his near post.
In an incredible first half with no goals, Manchester City won the shot count by 11 to nil!
By the end of the game they had won the shot-count by 17 to three. But a smiling Jose knew exactly which statistic mattered… 2-0!
And, of course, the head to head Spurs vs Manchester City results are still in the London club’s favour; they have now won 25 to City’s 18 in the Premier League era.
City are now 22 points behind Liverpool with 13 games to play.
The Sky Blues are at home to West Ham next weekend. Head coach David Moyes is already under pressure at the London Stadium as the all too familiar cracks have started to appear at the club. He left after his last stint in charge of the Hammers only 19 months ago when he’d steered them to safety. Can he do it again?
Spurs don’t have a fixture next week, but they face Southampton in an FA Cup replay before heading up to the Midlands to take on Aston Villa on Sunday 16th.