Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey FA Cup Match Report - Spurs v Manchester City, 26.01.24
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Spurs v Man City, 26.01.24 (FA Cup)


Ake, 88

Attendance:- 60,872

Referee:- Paul Tierney
Assistants:- Adrian Holmes & Scott Ledger
Fourth Official:- Darren England
VAR:- Tim Robinson
Support VAR:- Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR:- Simon Bennett

Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Vicario; Pedro Porro, Romero (Capt.), Van de Ven, Udogie; Bentancur (sub Maddison, 73), Hojbjerg (sub Scarlett, 90+1); Johnson (sub Skipp, 72), Kulusevski, Werner; Richarlison

Subs not used:- Forster; Emerson Royal, Dragusin, Davies, Santiago; Gil

Booked:- Udogie (foul on Bernardo Silva), Vicario (Dissent), Pedro Porro (Unsporting conduct)

Man City (4-2-1-3):- Stefan Ortega; Walker (Capt.), Ruben Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Bernardo Silva; Foden, Alvarez (sub De Bruyne, 65), Bobb (sub Doku, 65)

Subs not used:- Ederson; Stones, Gomez, Lewis; Grealish, Nunes, Susoho

Booked:- Kovacic (foul on Udogie), Dias (foul on Richarlison), Gvardiol (Dissent), Doku (Unsporting conduct)

All runs have to come to an end.

Spurs v Manchester City, 26.01.24

Five minutes before the end of normal time I tempted fate and thought we would have to face a replay but comforted myself with the possibility of City failing to score in six successive games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. I spoke too soon as City scored a scrappy goal from a De Bruyne corner with their 102nd shot on goal in those six games. Spurs claimed a foul on Vicario, but VAR confirmed the goal.

Thus, what would have been Bill Nicholson's 105th birthday was not celebrated with a memorable win. All runs have to come to an end, and perhaps next year Spurs' run of failures to reach an FA Cup Final will end. Another trophyless season beckons.

We had hoped that James Maddison would start, but he was held on the bench. He had little influence when he did join in the battle. Pep Guardiola showed his faith in the pace of Alvarez and 20-year-old Oscar Bobb. Spurs managed just one shot on goal in the whole game, compared to City's 18.

Spurs v Manchester City, 26.01.24

City brought a full contingent of fans occupying three tiers of the North Stand. Their team kicked off and played towards the South Stand and occupied the Spurs half for the first five minutes and indeed most of the half. Kulusevski's attempts at clever midfield touches and the passing of some of his colleagues let us down. City were better than us man for man, and had De Bruyne, Doku and Grealish on the bench and still had Haaland missing.

City thought they had scored inside five minutes when Dias found Walker on the right, he passed inside to Foden, whose shot was saved by Vicario but converted by Bobb. From my position, I thought Walker had been offside, but the VAR decision was that Bobb had been the offender when Foden shot. That VAR decision took a full two minutes, but Spurs had a reprieve.

Spurs were exposed too often on their flanks with Kyle Wallker, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Bobb or indeed Alvarez ready to take advantage. Spurs had to defend desperately at times and didn't help with hesitant pass-out play. I thought we might have tried long balls to our runners on the flanks with City playing such a high line.

City won their first corner after 11 minutes and Vicario punched clear. We won our first corner on the right and Bentancur's flicked header across the goal did not quite reach Werner. We won another corner after some neat midfield play and a cross by Johnson.

Van de Ven was applauded after his excellent defending deprived Foden of a chance to score. Bentancur released Pedro Porro, but Ortega collected a cross intended for Richarlison. Gvardiol advanced down the left and shot from the left of the box, but the ball flew high across the goal. Udogie won a battle with Foden just inside our box.

There was a lengthy delay before a Spurs free kick which was not explained to the fans but was apparently due to an official's technical equipment failing. There were chances at either end when Dias intercepted Werner's ball for Richarlison and Pedro Poro blocked a driven shot by Bobb. We had enjoyed a little more possession towards the end of the half.

Some of the "Boys of '81" were interviewed at half-time - Miller, Roberts, Hoddle and Ardiles - but we cannot live on those memories for ever, grand as they are.

Spurs kicked off the second half, but we were soon on the back foot and reliant upon a touch by Van de Ven to prevent Alvarez from scoring. Hojbjerg made a great challenge to deprive Alvarez again soon after. Spurs' chance fell to Johnson after a cross by Werner, but his shot was straight at the keeper. That was as close as we came to scoring. We claimed a handball when a Werner shot was blocked inside the area, but VAR soon supported referee Paul Tierney's decision.

Spurs did at least seem to be matching City in this second half and there was no denying the effort being put in by the players, urged on by the home crowd. Bentancur played in Johnson, but his cross, intended for Richarlison was blocked.

There was a dangerous moment when a Foden cross was deflected across the goalmouth, but still neither goalkeeper had been sorely tested. Skipp replaced Johnson to make his 100th club appearance and Maddison was received with rapturous applause as he took over from Bentancur. Kulusevski took up his normal position on the right.

De Bruyne and Doku had already come on for City and in a nice touch of sportsmanship, De Bruyne helped to ease Romero's cramp as our skipper had stretched to deny De Bruyne to concede a corner. Vicario saved from Bernardo Silva after Hojbjerg had an air-kick trying to clear a cross. Hojbjerg failed again when Doku crossed but De Bruyne fired wide with goal gaping.

At the other end, Hojbjerg released Werner, but Kyle Walker matched the German for pace and prevented any shot on goal. Vicario then had to save from the dangerous Doku with Porro backing up to clear.

The decisive goal came from a De Bruyne corner which Vicario rose to but could not clear. Ake prodded home the loose ball from very close range. Spurs' protests, led vociferously by Vicario, fell on stony ground, and VAR confirmed the goal.

Now we just have to concentrate on the Premier League in our remaining 17 games beginning with Brentford next Wednesday night.

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