THE PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY, 2020
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0) MANCHESTER CITY 0(0)
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Kevin Friend
Assistant VAR:- Harry Lennard.
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga; Lo Celso, Winks; Son, Dele (sub Ndombele, 70), Bergwijn (sub Lamela, 70); Lucas Moura (sub Dier, 84)
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Vertonghen; Sessegnon, Gedson Fernandes
Booked:- Alderweireld (unsporting conduct), Lo Celso (foul on Walker)
Man City (4-2-3-1):- Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho (Capt.), Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez (sub Jesus, 72), De Bruyne, Sterling (sub Bernardo Silva, 84); Aguero (sub Cancelo, 64)
Subs not used:- Bravo; Garcia; David Silva, Foden
Booked:- Sterling (foul on Dele), Walker (foul on Lucas Moura), Zinchenko (unsporting conduct), Rodri (foul on Lamela)
Sent off:- Zinchenko (60 – second yellow card for foul on Winks)
You’ll do fine Bergwijn!
I’ve seen a report since Steven Bergwijn’s £27 million transfer to Spurs suggesting that the 22 year old forsook a considerable amount of money that would have been due to him, so that he could move to Spurs. So, Bergwijn is delighted to be at Spurs, and he delighted Spurs fans with a superbly taken debut goal, scored in front of the “White Wall” who were for once thrilled by the fare put before their eyes. “Sonny” made it 2-0 within 8 minutes, so Spurs won 2-0 on 02.02.20. It was always in the runes, and it was the same scoreline as that suffered by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on their last visit to Tottenham in October 2016. That win too was achieved without our talisman Harry Kane, and both goals then were scored at The Park Lane End. This was of course a fantastic result for Spurs, somewhat unexpected, and lifted us to fifth place above Sheffield United, Manchester United and Wolves. More significantly, it puts us within four points of fourth-placed Chelsea who we play on February 22nd. It was a great day, and it’s been a great weekend for Spurs!
Jose Mourinho had indicated that Bergwijn would be in the squad, and gave us the bonus of a full debut for this speedster with a talent for scoring goals. Bergwijn’s insertion was the only change for Tottenham with Lo Celso playing beside Harry Winks and Gedson Fernandes relegated to the bench. Japhet Tanganga was again selected, and performed well. Tanganga has had a fantastic month, and has played well against the top two sides in the Premier League. City were again missing Laporte at the back, but they still fielded a formidable side. The crowd hit the 61,000 mark for the third time (Chelsea, Liverpool and now City). Some of the City fans, who looked quite young and in experienced in terms of away travel were spotted desperately seeking an “away” pub, and I heard reports of them walking over cars in the neighbourhood. They seem a nice bunch – not!
The stats tell us that City dominated possession and had 18 attempts on goal, compared to Spurs’ three. We scored from our first two. City were profligate, but also met a determined defence with Toby Alderweireld rock-like and skipper Hugo Lloris heroic, particularly with regard to his penalty save, which was his second against this team at NWHL. Once again in a match against City, VAR was very prominent.
Spurs were aided by the sending off of City left back Oleksandr Zinchenko who had been booked because of the melee which followed Lloris’s save and a follow-up challenge on Sterling. Zinchenko was deservedly shown a second yellow card when he prevented Harry Winks’ progress out of the Spurs half following a City corner. There were other incidents too, such as Sterling’s early challenge upon Dele, for which he got booked, and the absence of a second yellow when he appeared to dive under that Lloris challenge.
City kicked off, playing towards the South Stand, and Bergwijn was applying himself to challenges from the outset. After seven minutes, City had a chance when Mahrez received a ball from the left and passed forward to De Bruyne who had an angle from the right, but who fired over the goal. Davinson Sanchez blocked an Aguero shot and Spurs countered with Son trying to make headway against Fernandinho and Zinchenko, but it was the City left back who came out with the ball. It was soon after this when Sterling got his yellow card for tackle on Dele. There was a VAR review, which supported the referee. Those of us in the stadium did not have the benefit of TV replays which do show the full extent of Sterling’s ankle high challenge. Dele might ultimately have had to go off because of injury caused by the challenge, but he played through it till 20 minutes from the end.
Tanganga had a powerful run down the left flank before passing inside to Bergwijn, who in turn fed the ball to Dele. Dele’s intended pass for Son was cut out. Sanchez defended well against Aguero midway through the half. Lloris half cleared the ball and Sanchez finished the job. Mahrez teed up De Bruyne for a 25 yard shot, but Lloris held this cleanly. Sanchez made a bad error after 26 minutes giving the ball away to Mahrez who sent the ball forward to Aguero. Aguero’s shot too a touch off Lloris’s outstretched foot and rebounded back into play off the inside of Hugo’s left post.
In the stadium we were totally mystified when VAR halted play a full two minted after referee Mike Dean had weaved away City appeals for a penalty after Aurier’s tackle on Aguero. Aguero was being abused for seemingly making a meal of the challenge by staying on the ground, but VAR Kevin Friend decreed that there had been a foul and that there should be a penalty. Hugo Lloris anticipated wonderfully and almost even held Gundogan’s shot to his left. However, the ball ran away and Sterling chased it, going down when Hugo dived at his feet. There was a melee and more confusion, which ultimately led to bookings for Alderweireld and Zinchenko. Mr. Dean had not seen a penalty offence, and VAR supported him this time. When he realised Sterling had been involved and possibly dived, Jose Mourinho was livid and ran at fourth official Graham Scott. The whole incident and especially Hugo’s save was very good for the atmosphere in the ground as the home fans urged on their team.
There were five minutes of added time, during which Sterling passed shot from the right to Aguero who was in front of the near post. Aguero managed to fire wide.
Spurs kicked off the second half. Raheem Sterling’s every touch was getting booed by the home fans. Spurs had an early break out of defence led by Son, who tried to pass to Bergwijn, but the ball was blocked by the City defence. City responded with a smart attack, and there was confusion on the edge of the box when Lloris collided with Tanganga with Sterling on the ball. The ball ran to Aguero via De Bruyne, but Toby Alderweireld headed the goal bound shot clear. Sterling returned the ball to Gundogan who somehow managed to scoop an easy chance well over the bar. Spurs had had their escapes.
Spurs defended well under pressure from the likes of Mahrez and Aguero before Son tried a ball to Dele on the left of the area, but the pass was just over-hit. Zinchenko’s second yellow followed another attempted Spurs break-out this time by Harry Winks, who was cynically halted by the City left back. The card was thoroughly deserved.
It wasn’t long before Spurs broke the deadlock in sensational fashion. It followed a short corner which Bergwijn had won. He was involved with Son in the initial part of the move, but it ended with a clever pass by Lucas Moura to Bergwijn standing just inside the left side of the City area. Bergwijn chested the ball down and struck it beautifully with his right foot, scoring inside Ederson’s left post. The celebrations were wild and the scorer was mobbed by his team-mates in the south-west corner.
Guardiola now made a substitution he had amended with full back Cancelo replacing Aguero. I think the City manager had intended to bring on Jesus before the sending-off. Jose subsequently made a double substitution with Ndombele replacing Dele and Lamela replacing the heroic scorer who had gone down with cramp. Ndombele had everything to do with Spurs’ second goal making a couple of turns at close quarters and also a couple of short passes before he threaded a delightful ball to Son, who was on the edge of the area. Son hit a shot which took a deflection off Fernandinho, beating the dive of Ederson to his right.
Now Guardiola brought on Jesus for Mahrez. Later, Jose brought on Eric Dier for Lucas Moura to shore up the defence of that precious two-goal lead. Hugo tipped over a De Bruyne cross after De Bruyne had teed up Jesus for a shot that had been blocked. Again we had to endure a full five minutes of added time. Aurier hit a pass to Ndombele who continued the move by feeding Lo Celso. Gio passed across to Son again towards the left of the area, but this right foot shot was held by Ederson. Spurs had a couple more escapes when Lloris was in the right place to hold an involuntary Winks header and when Davinson Sanchez tried to clear a cross from his left, the ball rebounded back into play off the post. That was the last of the action and Spurs, and their fans could celebrate. Apart from those of a Sky Blue persuasion everyone went home with broad grins.
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