No matter where the fixtures lie in the season, when Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are playing it is a game that is must watch. Sunday’s contest proved once more, as a six-goal thriller not only snapped Spurs three-game losing streak but once more proved that Pep Guardiola can’t figure out his bogey team
With circumstances plaguing Spurs with injuries/suspensions during the three-game losing streak, the Lilywhites got on the board first.
The side that was once deemed the Harry Kane team by Pep Guardiola struck first on the perfect counter-attack, as Dean Kulusevksi sent a first-time ball over the middle of the field for Son Heung-min. Bodying Jeremy Doku to win the header to send him away, Son took two dribbles with his right foot before firing a shot through the diving Ederson to give Spurs an early lead.
Two minutes and 17 seconds later, Son found himself on the scorers’ sheet but in a negative manner as an own goal that came off his right knee gave City the equalizer.
Playing the entire first half on the back foot and practically getting lucky to enter the halftime break down 2-1, Spurs had to make changes if they had any chance of keeping the game not only close but a possibility to push onward.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg came on for the struggling Bryan Gil and when the second-half whistle was blown to begin play, City had a chance within the first minute to extend the lead off a Guglielmo Vicario mistake but the Italian extended himself off Bernardo Silva’s outside the boot shot to keep the game close.
Seeing City somewhat take their foots off the gas and letting Spurs get back into the game, Spurs took advantage of the chances with an equalizer coming in the 69th minute.
Pressing high on City in their half, a long ball that was intended for Erling Haaland saw Højbjerg lunge his header deep into the middle of the field for Son to control it and give a quick pass to Giovani Lo Celso to cut back into the middle of the D on his left foot to fire a low driven shot past the diving Ederson to equalize the game. Scoring in his second consecutive game, you can see the importance Lo Celso has played in the side.
Minutes later City capitalized on a mistake by Yves Bissouma deep in Spurs’ half as Rodri won the loose ball to set up Haaland for a cut-back ball for Jack Grealish to square it and give the champions a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Thinking this was once more another game Spurs were letting slip away and the narrative switching from the last unbeaten team to a sputtering side, Spurs didn’t die on the notion.
As the fourth official showed five added minutes in extra time, Spurs kept on the pressure for one final push and it came to fruition.
Winning the ball deep in City’s half, Brennan Johnson sent a looping cross into the middle of the box for Dean Kulusevski to leap over the defending Nathan Ake for a spectacular header that came off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Hitting the silencer in an iconic way as LeBron James has done several times, Kulusevski proved that no matter how the side looks or whoever is in charge....Spurs have Guardiola’s number.
With the exhilarating 3-3 draw, Spurs gained an all-important point to stay in the fifth and final possible UEFA Champions League spot.
Spurs return to North London for a Thursday night fixture for a London Derby against West Ham United. Cristian Romero will be back after serving his three-game suspension and it will be jovial to have him back in a defense that has rocked four fullbacks in hopes of staying afloat in the meantime.
Notes: Going to keep these short to allow you the reader to share everything that is on your mind with from this contest
- The game was uneasy at times to watch with how City were picking apart Spurs. But, with all those chances they failed to put the game away early
- Outside of the Lo Celso substitute, the others were great adjustments by Ange to keep the game flowing for his side to push on
- Congratulations to Jamie Donley for making his senior debut against the champions
- I know Emerson had a poor display with keeping the ball in critical parts of the field against the press, but he isn’t a center back
- Vicario again stepped up big — even after the mistakes he caused on himself