Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Premier League Match Report - Spurs v Manchester City, 14.05.24
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Spurs v Man City, 14.05.24


Haaland, 51, 90+1 (pen)

Attendance:- 61,065

Referee:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistants:- Simon Bennett, Dan Robathan
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
VAR:- Michael Salisbury
Assistant VAR:- Scott Ledger

Spurs (4-2-2-2):- Vicario; Pedro Porro, Romero, Dragusin, Van de Ven; Bentancur (sub Kulusevski, 55), Hojbjerg (sub Skipp, 85); Sarr (sub Lo Celso, 85), Maddison (sub Moore, 90+2); Johnson, Son (Capt.)

Subs not used:- Austin; Emerson Royal; Gil, Hall; Scarlett

Booked:- Bentancur (foul on Foden), Sarr (foul on De Bruyne), Romero (foul on Ederson)

Man City (4-2-3-1):- Ederson (sub Ortega, 69); Walker (Capt.), Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne (sub Doku, 69), Foden; Haaland (sub Alvarez, 90+5)

Subs not used:- Stones, Ake, Lewis; Bobb, Grealish, Nunes

Booked:- Kovacic (encroaching re. free kick), Foden (foul on Maddison), Bernardo Silva (foul on Kulusevski)

Surreal night at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Spurs v Manchester City, 14.05.24

It was indeed a surreal occasion. Very few Tottenham fans wanted to see City's progress against their arch-rivals impeded. I am sure many regulars stayed away. The pub I visited was very quiet, and I swear many ticket exchanges had taken place, judging by the unfamiliarity displayed by some of the fans attending. A good crowd figure was recorded, but many seats seemed to be empty just before kick-off.

The anti-Arsenal chants emanated from the South Stand soon after kick-off, which Spurs took, playing towards the North Stand.

It's taken all season, and it was forced by circumstances with Richarlison missing, but Ange Postecoglou came up with a different strategy which I read as 4-2-2-2 with Pape Matar Sarr playing as "false nine". He certainly popped up between Johnson and Son enough times.

There was no question of Spurs rolling over for City here. Until Erling Haaland broke the deadlock in the 51st minute, Spurs went toe-to-toe and more than held their own in all areas. Those Spurs fans who wanted a City win were being frustrated. There were plenty who were only too happy to admire the valiant efforts by Spurs.

As expected, Micky van de Ven played at left back. Radu Dragusin, making only his third Spurs start, gave a very good performance beside Romero.

City fielded a very strong side, captained by former Spur Kyle Walker, and could boast the likes of Doku and Grealish on as strong a bench as you might see.

We made a great start. Hojbjerg (making a rare start this season) hit a great long diagonal pass to Brennan Johnson on the left. He fired in a quick cross and Bentancur's shot had to be tipped over the bar by Ederson. Nothing came of the corner and City soon threatened when Walker crossed and De Bruyne's shot was blocked. There had been an offside anyway.

There was a lot of midfield play before Foden hit a cross-field pass to Walker, whose cross was cleared for a corner by Hojbjerg. Soon after Hojbjerg sliced an attempted clearance which gave Foden a shot on goal. Vicario made a superb reaction save.

After a pass from Sarr, Johnson hit a shot from a sharp angle which Gvardiol blocked for a corner. Dragusin made an excellent challenge to prevent Haaland breaking clear at the other end. Van de Ven hit an excellent ball down the line chased and crossed by Bentancur before Johnson's half-chance was blocked. Johnson had another good chance, but Ederson parried that away for a corner.

Dare one say that City were looking a little below par at this stage? They bounced back though with Gvardiol advancing and passing to Bernardo Silva who won a corner. After this, Kyle Walker crossed to the back post where Gvardiol (who has scored 5 goals in his last 7 games) fired over.

A Spurs attack broke down after Son's corner fell to Bentancur and both Van de Ven and Dragusin blocked shots at the other end before an offside flag was shown.

It was City who huddled hard before they kicked off the second half. After a poor play-out by Spurs the ball was passed inside from the left to De Bruyne whose shot brought another great save by Vicario.

Spurs responded with Pedro Porro and Sarr operating in tandem before Johnson crossed to the near post where Son's effort from short range was well-covered by Ederson.

City's first goal in the 51st minute was a little too easy. The ball was played out to De Bruyne on the right who was able to cross to the middle of goal where Haaland scored one of his easiest finishes from two yards out. The home fans sang "Are you watching Arsenal?" This was City's first Premier League goal at the stadium.

Postecoglou took off Bentancur for Kulusevski who initially played in the middle with both Maddison and Sarr retreating. De Bruyne needed treatment after a Sarr challenge (for which he was booked). Ultimately, the City playmaker was replaced.

Ederson also needed lengthy treatment after a clash with Romero near his right post after Cristian had tried to latch onto a Kulusevski cross. Ederson also had to be replaced (by Ortega) and threw his gloves down in frustration when reaching the City bench. Romero was booked for the challenge.

Ortega made the first of some vital saves from a Kulusevski shot after he had been fed the ball by Johnson. At the other end, De Bruyne's replacement Doku hit a powerful cross which Vicario pushed out for a corner.

Johnson made a run for a Pedro Porro pass but was edged out by Akanji. Pedro Porro won a corner on the right, after which Kulusevski fired over from the right. Kulusevski had another shot blocked by the substitute goalkeeper at his left-hand post.

Son had our best chance of the game after taking advantage of a mistake to hare goalward. He should have equalised, but Ortega read him well and made a vital save to his right.

The game was sealed when Pedro Porro fouled Doku in the box and Haaland stepped up to blast home his 27th Premier League goal of the season and his seventh league penalty this term.

Nine minutes of added time were indicated, during which Mikey Moore came on to make his senior debut. At 16 years, 9 months, and 3 days, he became the youngest player to make a Premier League appearance for Spurs.

The result gives Aston Villa their first Champions League place (don't forget they won The European Cup in 1982) and leaves us needing one point as things stand to secure fifth place. Let's hope we don't mess that up at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

City's win leaves them in control of their race with Arsenal for the title, which would be an historic fourth consecutive win. They will surely beat West Ham at The Etihad.

It seems that Ange fails to understand the anti-Arsenal culture which is surprising bearing in mind he was the Celtic manager. He also got involved in words with a fan near the dug-out last night who wanted him to throw the game. Let there be no doubt Spurs gave it their all last night and maintained the integrity of the Premier League.

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