Hope, as Emily Dickinson wrote, is a thing with feathers. At first, at the City of Manchester Stadium on a cold Thursday night, Tottenham’s hope was gloriously fluffy and bright. Then it got scalded, and then plucked to within an inch of its life. Tottenham got some good first half goals — one from Dejan Kulusevski and a late rebound header from Emerson Royal off of a blocked shot from Harry Kane, and took an incredible 2-0 lead into halftime.
Sounds good, right? Let me introduce you to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
City came roaring back, with Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland each scoring within three minutes to level the score. Spurs, perhaps predictably, crumbled. Riyad Mahrez scored again to put the Citizens up 3-2, and while Ivan Perisic had a golden opportunity to level deflected off the crossbar later on, Mahrez added a fourth late to put the dagger in and twist. The final score was 4-2 and my wife should lock the liquor cabinet doors for my sake.
Here are my match reactions.
- I was actually pretty impressed with Tottenham’s defensive organization in the first half. They seemed to pass well out of the back and were getting the ball forward nicely and into space. Had one scary moment where they left Haaland open on a corner, but otherwise, very good. Shame about the second half tho.
- Erling Haaland is a bigger cheating diver than Harry Kane ever was. There, I said it and I’m not sorry.
- Deki’s goal was all about the high press. A challenged out-ball from Ederson that was pressured by Bentancur and Deki was able to slot home. Some hilarious Rodri on Rodri violence, too.
- I enjoyed the Emerson Royal goal and would like to see more of it. (Emerson also had his best match in a Spurs shirt in I don’t know how long, he was very good)
- Ivan Perisic, man. I’m not sure how he could’ve had a worse second half. Was directly involved in all three of City’s goals and the one time he could’ve scored he managed somehow to have the worst possible finish from that position. Just shocking.
- Hugo played well... until he didn’t. That third City goal, whoof. Let’s find him a quiet monastery in the south of France where he can live out the rest of his days in peace and contemplation.
- If nothing else Cuti Romero was really quite good today, and he did it all on an unfair yellow card.
- Still on Greaveswatch. Though Kane would do it today. Alas.
- I don’t really want to think about what blowing a 2-0 halftime lead by conceding four second half goals says about this Spurs team. I mean, City’s really good, we know this. But maaaaaaaaaan.