BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER, 2015
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(1) MANCHESTER CITY 1(1)
De Bruyne, 25
Attendance:- 35, 867
Referee:- Mark Clattenburg
Assistants:- S. Beck & J. Collin
Fourth official:- Anthony Taylor
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.), Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Alli; Lamela (sub Carroll, 87), Son (sub N'Jie, 77), Eriksen (sub Chadli, 68); Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Rose, Trippier; Townsend
Booked:- Lamela (foul on Kolarov), Dier (foul on Fernandinho), Eriksen (kicking ball away after foul on De Bruyne), Alli (foul on Roberts), Kane (foul on Otamendi)
Man City (4-2-3-1):- Caballero; Sagna, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernando, Fernandinho (sub Nasri, 69), De Bruyne, Toure (Capt.)(sub Navas, 56), Sterling; Aguero (sub Roberts, 86)
Armband to Kolarov
Subs not used:- Hart; Zabaleta; Barker, Evans
Booked:- Demichelis (Dissent)
Spurs are City's lickers!
It was one of those days that made you feel so proud of your team. It was one of those days when the whole crowd joined in with the singing, and one of those days when you felt proud of every member of the team, and the head coach. The sun shone. Spurs beat the league leaders (until Man Utd won later in the day) 4-1, and they proved my negative prediction wrong in such a big way. It was one of those days that will live long in the memory. For all Spurs' historical Premier League superiority over City (until the last 10 games), it was also the first time Spurs have out four goals past City in a league game since 1962. It was a very emotional day.
Having predicted defeat, when I heard the team news, indicating that Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and David Silva would not be starting , I tweeted that I was starting to feel optimistic. Despite the presence of Aguero, there is no arguing that a City side without Kompany and Silva is not so strong as they would desire, as West Ham proved last week. Whether Manuel Pelligrini was keeping half an eye on City's midweek Champions League game away to Borussia Monchengladback, I don't know. However, we also know that any City side these days does present formidable opposition.
Apparently, Joe Hart was suffering with his back, and Vincent Kompany had actually been withdrawn from the subs after the warm-up, leaving City with one or two "rookies" on the bench. Kompany was only replaced two minutes before kick-off, and his replacement (Evans) did not appear for about 8 minutes, as he had to go and get changed.
Spurs played Eriksen to the left of Son, who was in the middle of the attacking midfield three, but this left Ben Davies somewhat exposed on the left of the Spurs defence, where most City threats came from, and indeed their goal. The balance of the team improved when Eriksen switched to the centre, although he was always a little slower to the ball, and more reluctant to challenge than most of his team-mates.
Hugo Lloris won the toss and unusually elected to play towards the Paxton End for the first half, leaving City goalkeeper Caballero in the sun. By the second half, the sun was less dominant, and City were not so much an attacking force as were Tottenham.
After 5 minutes, Lloris did make a poor clearance and this led to Sterling having a chance, coming in from the left hand side, but hitting his shot wide.
Five minutes later, Alderweireld send a lovely ball down the left for Ben Davies, whose cross reached Erik Lamela at the back of the area. Lamela's attempt was blocked and he won a corner. Nothing came of that for Spurs, and City soon had a chance when Yaya Toure hit his shot wide after Sagna's cross from the right. Sterling fed the ball to Aguero on the left of the area, and Fernandinho had a shot half-blocked then held by Lloris.
After 17 minutes, Fernandinho turned provider for Aguero, whose shot led to a corner, after a Lloris save. City took the lead after Spurs chose to take a short corner. Lamela passed back to Walker, who lost the ball, allowing Toure to advance into Spurs territory, passing to De Bruyne, ahead of him on the right. I haven't seen the evidence, but I understand that De Bruyne was in an offside position. However, he beat Lloris from the right side with a powerful low shot for his third goal in three games.
Spurs responded immediately, with Eriksen sending Son away down the left of the area, hitting a shot which Caballero saved. Sterling had a chance at the other end, when Sterling collected a ball crossed from the right and won a corner, with Lloris making the necessary save.
Kane had a half-chance after a defensive error, possibly by Fernando, but Harry hit his shot wide from 25 yards. Lloris made another save of a powerful cross/shot by Sagna. Vertonghen made one of his advances, and found Davies on the left, who crossed. Lamela was in the middle but skied his shot.
One of the best pieces of Spurs football I have seen this season came when Walker hit a good ball to Lamela towards the middle. Lamela showed skill and turned with the ball, passing to Kane, who also had to battle for a shooting position, before hitting a good shot which Caballero saved.
At the other end, Lloris had to make a very good save from Kolarov's shot after Sterling put in the left back.
Spurs equalised just before the break, and I will admit that I thought Kyle Walker was offside, when he crossed from the right. However, he was very close to the assistant, whose judgement might have been impeded. Walker crossed, and Son's shot was well saved. It was Eric Dier who picked up the loose ball from about 25 yards hitting a great drive, which beat the keeper and went in off his right-hand post.
Demichelis got booked after the half-time whistle, as the teams left the pitch, for arguing with referee Mark Clattenburg over the decision not to award an offside.
After the break, Toure had shot held by Lloris, after Sterling's pass, but then Spurs took the lead in the 50th minute. This followed excellent work by Kane on the right flank chasing a long ball, and winning a free kick. Lamela took the kick, and Alderweireld rose to head home, giving Spurs the lead to a mighty home crowd roar.
Toure suffered a hamstring strain and was replaced by Navas after 56 minutes. Lloris held another shot by Sterling. Spurs made a break through Lamela and Eriksen, with Lamela getting fouled 5 yards outside the area. Demichelis was lucky not to get a second yellow card for his foul on Lamela. Eriksen stepped up to take the kick, hitting the bar. Harry Kane followed up and fired home for that ever so welcome first Premier League goal of the season. City claim that Kane was offside, but if you are a Spurs fan, who cares!
Spurs had their tails up, and every man was putting in the very best of effort to win balls, keep possession, and to maintain attacks upon the City goal. A shot by Navas from the right got a very slight deflection off Vertonghen for a City corner. Fernandinho was replaced by Nasri, who got the welcome you would expect.
Spurs won a corner after 72 minutes after great work by Kyle Walker, whose initial intention was to support Lamela, but he actually got ahead of him. Spurs got the ball in the net following this set piece, but it was offside.
Chadli had replaced the tiring Eriksen, and after 74 minutes, he got into the area, passing outside to Kane on his right, whose cross/shot was cleared. Son was replaced by N'Jie, who proved to be an excellent late addition to the team, showing plenty of pace, and not a little skill to go with it.
N'Jie was instrumental in Spurs' fourth goal, which put us all in dreamland, with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining. N'Jie chased and won a good long ball down the right touch line, winning against Kolarov, before hitting his cross into the area, where it was collected by Lamela. Erik carried the ball towards the left, rounding the keeper before accurately firing home in the fairly narrow space between Demichelis and the left post, in front of the ecstatic Park Lane crowd. It was at this point that I tweeted "Oh my!"
Lamela went off to a great, and well deserved ovation with three minutes remaining. I have always had patience with Lamela, and I have always said there is a footballer in there. He never gives up on a ball, and does make strong challenges for loose midfield balls. After his involvement from the back in our goal against Palace last week, I even suspected he might start next to Dier.
As we approached added time, Lloris held a free kick by De Bruyne, after Dele Alli had been booked. At the other end, N'Jie had a shot blocked.
City fans had started leaving in droves after the fourth goal, but Spurs fans stayed in the stadium in great numbers to cheer their heroes off the pitch. The applause was well-deserved, and I am so proud of my Spurs.
As you know, I did predict a defeat, and I do feel ashamed of that. I am so, so glad to be wrong. We are now just three points behind the former league leaders, in fifth place, four points behind new leaders Manchester United. This was our third consecutive league win, and we are unbeaten in the league since the opening day of the season at Old Trafford.
If Spurs can maintain this level of form and effort, then who knows how far they can go this season?
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