WHAT A MATCH! Tottenham Hotspur rode a three match losing streak into an away match against Manchester City, the presumptive Premier League winners and a team that hadn’t lost a match since October. What we got was an instant classic, a 3-2 last-gasp win for Tottenham thanks to an injury time headed goal from Harry Kane, his second of the game.
It was an incredible football match! Dejan Kulusevski scored his first club goal for Spurs, assisted by Son Heung-Min, in the fourth minute on a well-worked team goal, only for Ilkay Gundogan to level the score late in the first half. Spurs went ahead midway through the second half through Kane, again assisted by Son, but City leveled through Riyad Mahrez on a controversial handball by Cuti Romero in the box that was called by VAR. Kane clinched the game with a headed effort in the fifth minute of extra time, sending the away fans (and every other Spurs fan watching) into raptures.
There’s no way I’m going to remember to talk about everything that happened in this match, but for what it’s worth here are my notes.
- This match took 10 years off my life.
- Remember how poor Tottenham’s defense was the past few matches? Eric Dier for Davinson Sanchez improves Tottenham at the back so dang much. Cuti Romero was absolutely immense in this match, but all of Spurs’ defenders played well.
- Spurs’ first goal was wonderful! Kane saw that Laporte was pushing too high up on Son and played a gorgeous ball to Sonny, but what was more impressive was Sonny deciding to make the pass instead of panicking and taking the shot. Just a well-worked goal.
- I was impressed with Sessegnon’s one on one defending of Walker in the first half. He’s not fast but did enough that he was able to contain Walker for the most part. Sess got done by Foden once, and he’s still second to Reguilon, but he had a good game and fans should ease up on him.
- Gundogan’s equalizer was from another mistake from Hugo and it sucks. That said, Hugo made a HUGE save midway through the second half. We’ll call it a wash.
- Kulusevski was absolutely immense in this match, and he worked his butt off. Got the assist to Kane for the match winner, but was all over the pitch, was looking to create from the off, and very, very involved in the offense. It’s taken him a little while to get acclimated, but if this match is any indication, he’s going to be an absolute STAR for Spurs.
- Bentancur really struggled with the City press, and had a number of bad passes and turnovers. It was the first time I’ve seen him have something close to a sub-par performance from him, and even then he played pretty well against the best club in world football.
- Harry Kane was exceptional today. He didn’t have a single shot until his goal, but was instrumental in attack, in that deep lying playmaker role and putting balls for Son and others to run onto. Two late goals, including the extra time headed match winner. What more can you say?
- Kane’s goal getting called back for offside was the right call, but man it sucked not to get it, especially because he gained nothing from being in the offside position when the initial pass was played.
- That penalty for City was annoying, but again also the right call. As soon as Anthony Taylor was told to go take a look at the monitor, I knew it was going to be given. And while I have no idea what the hell a handball is anymore, that probably was one — Romero had his hand up and in an “unnatural position” and in an age of VAR that’s gonna get called just about every time.
- Sonny didn’t have many opportunities, but his pace really stretched City’s defense, and he had two assists on the day. Was absolutely knackered when subbed off, gave everything he had. A very good outing.
- Tottenham being Manchester City’s boogeyman club will never not be both hilarious and incredibly fun. Long may it continue.
- On big match days, I sometimes bake bread. There’s something calming about the process of making something with your hands that calms me down in the hour before the match kicks off. And if the worst happens and Tottenham Hotspur lays an egg, at the end at least I have fresh bread. Today, the oven timer went off two minutes after the final whistle. I get to enjoy one of the Premier League’s best games in recent years, a Tottenham double over Manchester City, AND I get fresh bread! I am the REAL winner!