Going into Matchweek #7, Spurs faced the daunting task of slowing down the team at the top of the table, Manchester City. After 90 minutes at White Hart Lane, it was Tottenham Hotspur that looked like the best team in the league, winning a crucial match to snatch three points, 2-0.
Spurs wasted no time in getting things rolling. The in-form Heung-Min Son took advantage of City’s complacency at the start of the match by coming free in the penalty area, firing a rocket within the first minute of the match. The attempt was good, but sailed just over the crossbar.
City responded a couple of minutes later as the much-maligned Jesus Navas shot a low cross into the danger zone that David Silva dummied, hoping someone was behind him. The cross went untouched and out to end the threat.
Spurs’ press was in high gear and it paid dividends in the 10th minute. After forcing a turnover, Danny Rose pumped a hard cross into the box that just missed Son’s head, but Aleksandar Kolarov made a fatal error with a horrific touch, putting the ball into the top right corner, giving Spurs a 1-0 lead.
Spurs had a big chance in the 20th minute after Dele Alli drew a foul twenty yards away from goal. Christian Eriksen took the ensuing free kick, opting to go for far post. The shot had City keeper Claudio Bravo beaten, but it went just wide of the post.
Manchester City had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 30th minute. Victor Wanyama took down Sergio Aguero about 20 yards away from goal, resulting in a booking for the Kenyan International. Aguero’s free kick curled towards the inside of the far post, but Hugo Lloris managed to make the save to keep the score at 1-0 Spurs.
While City looked to be threatening, they couldn’t unlock the Tottenham defense. In the 37th minute, after yet another turnover caused by the high press, Son fed a perfectly weighted through ball to Dele Alli past the stationary City back four. Dele slotted the ball past a diving Bravo and Spurs were flying, up 2-0.
Spurs picked up where they left off in the second half. Victor Wanyama, who played a solid game in the midfield, took a long rip that was heading for the lower left of the net. Bravo managed to get just enough of it to parry it wide.
City countered with a chance of their own. David Silva found some space in front of Spurs’ back four and played a ball behind Aguero. The City striker fired a one time shot that Lloris parried away just enough into the post, eventually headed away by the defense.
Spurs blew a chance to put the match on ice in the 64th minute. After a chaotic run of play, Dele Alli was taken down by Fernandino for a stone cold penalty. Erik Lamela could not capitalize on the gift from City as Bravo parried his kick away to keep the 2-0 scoreline in tact.
After fifteen minutes of back and forth play, Aguero put an attempt on net from about 15 yards out that was deflected by Kyle Walker. The deflection looked to be headed into the top of the net but Hugo came up big again, making the save and putting the ball over the crossbar.
Spurs clamped down on defense, managing to slow down the City attack even when it seemed like the Citizens were threatening to put one in the net. That moment never came for City, and the match ended with a 2-0 victory.
THOUGHTS ON THE MATCH
- I want to try and downplay this, but I can’t: That was the best performance I’ve seen Spurs ever put in.
- The high press was in full swing today. I lost count at how many times City turned the ball over either in their own end or in the midfield.
- The back four were all over Aguero today. He only found a yard of space once or twice. Any other time, he was collapsed on almost immediately.
- Victor Wanyama was an absolute beast in the midfield. There were only a couple of times I can even remember him missing a tackle or mark, and he still managed to recover to attack the ball.
- Hugo was outstanding today, making a few key saves to get a well earned clean sheet.
- Thanks for the own goal, Kolarov!
- We just blanked a team that was averaging three goals a match for our fifth clean sheet in seven matches.