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Man City v Spurs, 29.07.17

(5pm – local time)
(at Nissan Stadium, Nashville)


Stones, 10
Sterling, 72
Diaz, 90 (+1)

Attendance:- 56,232

Referee:- Fotis Bazakos (USA)

Man City (3-3-2-2):- Edersen Moraes (sub Muric, 78); Kompany (Capt.) (sub Mangala, 60), Otamendi; Walker (sub Tosin, 74), Fernandinho (sub Toure, 60), Danilo (sub Sane, 74); de Bruyne (sub Foden, 60), Silva (sub Nasri, 60); Jesus (sub Aguero, 60), Sterling (sub Diaz, 78)

Booked:- Kompany (foul on Nkoudou)

Spurs (4-3-3):- Lloris (Capt.) (sub Vorm, 46); Trippier (sub Walker-Peters, 79), Alderweireld, Vertonghen (sub Wimmer, 71), Davies; Winks (sub Oakley-Boothe, 71), Dier, Dembele (sub Nkoudou, 55); Eriksen, Kane, Dele (sub Janssen, 71)
(Armband to Kane)

Subs not used:- Whiteman, Austin; Carter-Vickers, Dinzeyi, Brown; Wanyama, Georgiou, Miller

No bookings

Pochettino sees positives, but Spurs soundly beaten.

Mauricio Pochettino saw some positives after this sound defeat by making reference to the minutes played, and the fitness gained. With Wanyama once again absent (presumably injured), Spurs did start with their strongest available team, but Spurs fans will have been disheartened to see Man City looking so sharp, especially with former Spurs star Kyle Walker having a positive impact as an attacking wing-back. Pep Guardiola (who like his counterpart across the City of Manchester is helping his club spend money like water) also fielded a strong attacking side, but recent signing Benjamin Mendy was not to be seen. Danilo (signed from Real Madrid) did feature on the left and also had a positive effect.

Over the course of the game Pochettino tried various formations to counter City’s threat, starting with a weakfish looking 4-3-3; trying three at the back at the start of the second half, but eventually resorting to the standard 4-2-3-1, by which time different personnel including the youth of Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Kyle Walker-Peters were on the field. City also had an almost completely different team on the field by this time, including some of their talented youth, and although they had dominated proceedings throughout, the scoreline only became convincing late in the game, although substitute Aguero did hit the post twice.

It was the biggest crowd for Spurs on their North American tour with over 56,000 in the Nissan Stadium, Nashville. Spurs did actually have the first opportunity when Trippier’s deep cross passed Kane and reached Dele Alli (perhaps surprised at the fact) at the back of the area. Dele’s shot was saved by another one of Guardiola’s expensive signings, goalkeeper Edersen Moraes. City soon dominated with their version of the high pressing game with a severely shaven headed David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Walker, Sterling, Danilo and Gabriel Jesus all to the fore. Guardiola’s team beat Real Madrid 4-1 earlier in this tournament, and seem to be making an early statement of their Premier League and Champions League credentials.

City were one up in the tenth minute after De Bruyne’s free kick was deflected by the Spurs wall, and John Stones advanced and stooped to head past Lloris. De Bruyne soon had his own effort – a low shot – held by Lloris, who was kept busy throughout the half. After a City attack down the left, Eric Dier mistakenly passed back to the feet of Jesus, who had is back to goal, leading to a shot by Danilo that was saved. Lloris then made a good save from a powerful shot by Jesus. Spurs were under siege. It might have been a good work-out for the defence, but they weren’t exactly having a lot of success.

De Bruyne passed out to Walker on his right. Kyle passed forward to Sterling whose shot hit the side netting. How it hurts to refer to Walker as an opponent. De Bruyne was ace provider again as from the edge of the box he passed to Danilo on his left, but the shot was held. Walker found Jesus (plenty have done that!) again, but the striker who appears to have displaced Aguero was offside.

No love was lost between Dele and Vincent Kompany, and indeed City were physically tight and hard on the Spurs forwards throughout the game, but it was Dele who got the free kick. Toby Alderweireld won a good firm challenge and the ball against Danilo, and referee Fotis Bozakos was happy for play to continue, as he was for most of the game. Harry Kane won a free kick when Silva and Fernandinho closed him down, and goalkeeper Edersen did well to push over Eriksen’s free kick aimed at his top right corner.

After a drinks break Otamendi was the next to upset Dele, but again it was the Spurs man who won the free kick. City continued to show so much more sharpness than Spurs and De Bruyne chased back to take a ball off Eriksen’s feet. De Bruyne passed to Walker, whose cross was just too far for Jesus. Harry Kane was called offside only 5 yards inside the City half after a ball from the left. Fernandinho got in on the creativity act when he fed the ball to Jesus, whose right footed shot from the right side of goal was held by Lloris. Another Walker cross was deflected to the feet of Jesus. He teed up Danilo who hit a good right footed shot saved well by Lloris at his left post. Next up to try his luck was Silva, but Lloris held again.

Harry Kane exchanged passes with Eriksen, and Eriksen’s return pass was penetrative with Kane firing over from the right of the area. In added time City had the goal at their mercy. De Bruyne was clear towards the right of the area and had a clear chance himself, but he chose to pass to Jesus, who fired wide back across the goalmouth with his left foot.

Michel Vorm replaced Lloris at the start of the second half, and Harry Kane took the armband.

Danilo was disappointed when he claimed a penalty and Jesus hit a chance wide. Eric Dier got upset quite understandably when Kevin De Bruyne appeared to elbow the Spurs man, when trying to chase a ball. The referee showed leniency with consistency. Dembele was replaced by Nkoudou, and Spurs reverted to 4-2-3-1 with Dier next to Harry Winks in front of the back four. I have to say I did not see one impactive touch by Dembele, but the probably truth is that Spurs were simply over-run in this area overall, as both Dier and Winks also struggled at times.

Kompany got the one yellow card of the game when blocking Nkoudou, but Eriksen’s free kick was cleared. Eriksen had another free kick chance after Kane was fouled but this one was into the wall. City made several changes including Mangala for Kompany; Aguero for Jesus; Nasri for De Bruyne; Toure for Fernandinho, and 17 year old Phil Foden for David Silva.

Vorm soon had to save from Aguero, but the Argentinean was offside anyway. It was a good save but Vorm had no chance after Sterling (in too much space on the right) teed up Aguero, whose shot hit the post. Aguero hit the post again when he had time to pick his spot, but with Vorm beaten saw his shot rebound off the inside of the woodwork.

Ben Davies (one of five 90 minute men for Spurs) hit a good shot from 25 yards, which got a touch from Edersen to win a corner. After the corner, Dele had a chance go over, but he was called offside anyway.

City got a much awaited second goal when Sterling was onto Nasri’s ball, and could pick his spot, scoring to the right of Vorm. Vincent Janssen had replaced Dele, and had a chance after 75 minutes, delayed by the efforts of Otamendi, leading to Edersen making the save. Edersen soon made way for Muric, at the same time as 17 year old Spaniard Brahim Diaz replaced Sterling. Kyle Walker-Peters replaced Trippier.

Eriksen had a good left footed shot from 25 yards well saved by the new goalkeeper, who then conceded a corner when putting out Walker-Peters’ intended cross for Harry Kane. Nothing came of the corner, but Walker-Peters showed speed to take the ball off the feet of Diaz, who was called offside in any case. Our Kyle was then offside at the other end, so he had a lively cameo.

Janssen showed really good skill receiving the ball with his back to goal, flicking it over to beat Otamendi, before hitting a shot which was saved In added time, Diaz (who had scored in City’s defeat of Real Madrid) made it 3-0 in added time after Nasri’s shot was saved by Vorm, but only into the path of Diaz.

Spurs’ final pre-season game comes next Saturday at Wembley when Juventus will be the visitors in another International Champions Cup game. Despite a late adjustment to ticket prices, many fans are giving this game a swerve, as it is still over-priced.

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