ANALYSIS: Tottenham Hotspur 1 vs 5 Manchester City

City banished any pre-match fears the fans had with a truly brilliant show, running out deserved winners. It was a night that delivered on what we were promised six and a half years ago – one of many this season so far. Here are a few thoughts following a wet night at White Hart Lane…

Have we seen this before?        

Structurally, this game was reminiscent of the reverse fixture at the Etihad in the Autumn. City ran all over Tottenham who looked bewildered for a lot of the game. There was another early onslaught before the home team briefly rallied after about 25 minutes, including a disallowed goal, but it turned out to be a temporary state of affairs. City took control for the rest of the game and scored many goals, again. It really was fantastic to watch.

Tottenham were done as soon as Danny Rose gave away a penalty and got sent off, but it didn’t look as if anyone in the stadium really thought it mattered. City were overwhelming when it suited them and deadly when it mattered. As at the Etihad, the Spurs defence had a night they will want to forget, conceding another five goals and being given a comprehensive run around. There was no moment as individually devastating as Negredo’s turn and goal which left Dawson distraught on the turf, but it cannot have been a pleasant collective experience.

For what it’s worth, the away section had a comparable view of Rose’s tackle to the linesman and it looked to be a nailed on penalty. Whether it should have stood or not, it is easy to see why he signalled to the ref that it was one. Ultimately, City would still have walked this game.

Aguero & the rest

Another injury in such close proximity to the last one is discouraging. With the run of fixtures that are fast hoving into view it is not ideal to potentially be without our star striker. Both Chelsea and Barcelona will be given a boost if Aguero cannot play against them.

However there are some positives to draw from the circumstance. Sergio himself has said that he went off as a ‘precaution’ following a twinge in his hamstring and he didn’t have to be carried off the pitch. Hopefully he will be fit and ready to fight again very soon. He was replaced by Stevan Jovetic who went on to play his first full half of Premier League football and looked rather sharp. His deflected goal was met with general joy among both the fans and players. He got into many of the same positions Aguero would normally occupy meaning that the Spurs defence weren’t given even the smallest of breaks. Having Jovetic swapping into the team so smoothly may be invaluable in the coming weeks as fixtures and injuries pile up.

We got another glimpse of a world where Aguero is not completely indispensible to the team as the goals flew in from all angles. This is a team where everyone wants the ball and everyone wants to score. Most importantly, this is a team where everyone is also thrilled if someone else who isn’t them scores. The most heart warming sight of the match came after Aguero’s opener when Demichelis and Hart ran to each other in delight, fist bumped, hugged, and punched the air together. They could hardly have been happier if they were on party drugs. No other team in the premier League has the depth of goal scorers that City do.

The midfield was utterly dominant in all areas. Silva was everywhere, having one of those nights where he looks like the best player in the world. He probed, taunted and bullied Spurs’ defensive players who looked in three or four minds. None of them knew what he was planning. Silva has had to take a lot of the creative burden upon himself in the absence of Nasri and, on last night’s evidence, he is fine with it. Yaya and Fernandinho were exactly as good as they always are. We are rapidly running out of things to say about them as each game they put in the same almost-perfect performance. Navas is in the best form of his City career to date and once again scared the living daylights out of the whole Tottenham left wing in concert with Zabaleta. That duo is looking to be a particularly destructive weapon of late as the understanding between them grows.

The whole City midfield along with Zabaleta and Clichy have been a swarm of killer bees on attack recently. Long may it continue.

Dzeko

What do we do with Dzeko? He had yet another of those nights where he played two different games. Half of what he did was just awful as he hit all his usual touchstones of a comedy first touch, running into defenders and blasting goal scoring opportunities over the bar.

The other half of the time he looked like a world class footballer and as usual he scored his obligatory goal. He held defenders off and looked like the player Spurs wished Adebayor could be. He played a through ball to Navas which appeared to go through two defenders as if they had no mass, such was the precision of it. He grinned like the cat that got the cream when he scored which made me feel content as a fit, happy, and firing Dzeko is a very potent weapon. If the other side of Dzeko goes away for a while it will make the next month much easier.

Finally, anyone who makes a “Dzeko and Hyde” joke is hereby banned from Typical City. Fair warning.

Written by Alex Timperley

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6 comments on “ANALYSIS: Tottenham Hotspur 1 vs 5 Manchester City
  1. Magnificent performance, I’m guessing (not too hard) that you enjoyed your night in North London, Alex?
    Tottenham have appealed against the red card issued, so we will see if the FA agree with the correspondents above that they were ‘shafted’ – as to bad decisions, I thought the multiple handball non-penalty was ‘incredibly bad’.
    Prehaps Mr Smith had a little of his sponsor’s product before posting? 😉

  2. Hi Gents, thanks for the comments. A few general things:

    I didn’t see the Fernandinho handball as it was up the other end. I haven’t had a chance to watch the highlights but will this evening after work.

    The Danny Rose tackle – As I said above, from the away end/where the linesman was it looked like a bad tackle by the last man as Dzeko was about to shoot from a few yards out = penalty and red card. As above, haven’t seen the highlights yet but will look this evening.

    John,

    Just because I disagree with your dearly held opinion is no reason to disparage my intelligence. Thanks, but lets keep it civil, yeah? Getting into refereeing decisions is a mug’s game, but if you really want to then you should take into account that the free kick which led to your correctly ruled offside goal should not have been given, Demichelis got yellow carded for being stamped on by Adebayor (a repeat offender throughout the match) and Spurs players resorting to literally pushing City players over by the end. Andre Marriner had a shocking game, both teams got duff decisions.

    S-P,

    Thanks for the comment. Your argument is well thought through and I should have given a bit more credit to Spurs – completely agree. I have recommended on twitter since putting the article up that people read your comment for an alternative view.

    As above, I disagree your disallowed goal should have stood. Adebayor was offside, the free kick that led to it was wrongly awarded.

    If it had stayed at 11v11 then it would have been closer, but to be honest we should have gone into half time with 3 or 4 goals, bearing in mind Dzeko’s appalling shooting skills and Aguero narrowly missing with two more. Our team last night was in no mood to lose and I stand by my opinion that the sending off was immaterial at the end of the day.

    Thanks again fellers,

    Alex

  3. As a Spurs fan, what I find sad is this:
    Most of us knew that we would probably be in trouble as soon as we saw the team sheet. As well as being a work-in-progress as it is, we were missing our best central midfield and central defensive pairings, as well as Lamela and Townsend. Dawson really is just not fit for purpose, and we all knew he would get a torrid time off Aguero.
    And no matter how well we could have played in the second half, Citeh could (and you could say, would) have hit us hard and fast.

    But…well teams have been comprehensively outplayed in one half and overturned it in the second half. We have done it recently, I believe Citeh have done it recently – hell, we did it to you at the Lane last season.

    And this is the rub: No matter how well you played in the first half, you didn’t have any controversially disallowed goals, or any other incredibly bad decisions go against you. So, you scored one goal. And so did we – we had a perfectly good goal disallowed incorrectly. Of course it was incorrect, the AR confirmed at half-time that it was for Dawson being off-side, only he wasn’t. Whether Adebayor got a touch or not, the AR couldn’t have seen it. Toure could quite easily have been dismissed, but for some reason the ref decided, after clearly reaching for a yellow, indicating that he felt Toure had committed a yellow card offence, that he wouldn’t give it – well, that’s nice.

    Just to compound matters, he decided to send Danny Rose off and award a penalty for a perfectly good (well, pretty good, actually) tackle. So, instead of being early in the second half, 11 versus 11, and with the possibility (note, I say possibility and not probability) of turning the game around) and at 1 – 1, and possibly against ten men, our officiating friends ensured that we were two goals down and down to ten ourselves. I mean, really! As if playing the best team in the country with a decimated team isn’t hard enough.

    But all of that is by-the-by, what is really galling is the myopia of the media and Citeh fans alike. Yeha, you ‘blew us away’ – but some kind of acceptance, under the circumstances, that we were royally shafted and anything after Danny Rose was sent off, meaning we were a man short and chasing the ball against the best team in the country, would be nice. Some kind of acknowledgement that we have a genuine reason to feel aggrieved, and that there is a good to bloody good chance that what happened after the sending off didn’t represent what would have happened without such frequent and catastrophic interference by the officials (not the first time in recent weeks, is it!), would be nice.

    You are the best team in the league – but handling is would some good grace would not go amiss. From our perspective, we have just swapped one set on Mancunians who strangely are head-and-shoulders above everyone else thanks to financial muscle and strangely get a whole string of unacceptably bad officiating decisions on their behalf, for another bunch. Surely, reflecting on how much you hated the visible favouritism the red-half got should make you just a little bit more gracious, eh! So, yeah, plenty of us ‘thought it mattered’ when we were reduced to 10 – that feeling of resignation probably started with the rest the moment the officials decided we weren’t allowed to score, after all, as said, we have a long history of being so shafted by the officials on behalf of Mancunian clubs.

    Just telling it like it is, because, believe me, the vast majority of Spurs fans would rather see your lot win the EPL than either Cheslea or, heaven forbid, Arse*al!

  4. Meanwhile, intelligent people know that the linesman is a buffoon who got two major decisions clearly wrong and that City fans would be up in arms if they had been on the receiving end. He should be sacked.

    Also, Toure, Aguero and Ferdinandho should have been sent off for two bookable offences, trying to get a player sent off and deliberate handball on the line.

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