Antonio Conte’s Tottenham turned up this evening in a crucial away tie at Premier League title favorites Manchester City at the Etihad when they ran out 3-2 winners in a thrilling encounter that ended Spurs’ three-match losing run in the league and set them back on track to try to run down bitter rivals Arsenal.
And if you are a Tottenham supporter, seeing Harry Kane bag a brace to help the club to a vital three points is a sight for sore eyes as the England man has largely struggled this season, but a stoppage-time winner will send the traveling support in full voice after Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were expectedly dominant and possibly could feel hard done after controlling nearly 72% of possession and crafting 21-shots to Spurs’ six.
Ederson (5) – He cannot be held entirely to blame, but surrendering 3-goals on just 5-shots on frame is sub-standard for a keeper of his level.
João Cancelo (7) – Generally good tonight as he always is. Offered excellent ball security, was one of the main offensive threats, completed the most tackles (3), and the joint-most take-ons (3).
Aymeric Laporte (6) – Nothing more than decent on the evening. Was solid when he needed to be, we have seen so much better from him.
Rúben Dias (6) – Had a similar performance to Laporte; nothing more than okay.
Kyle Walker (6) – Much of the same as across the bulk of the Manchester City backline tonight; okay.
Ilkay Gündogan (7.5) – One of the only real bright spots for City tonight, he added another goal to his tally at the club while also hitting the woodwork as well. Remains a mainstay in midfield.
Rodri (7) – The Spaniard won the most aerial duels tonight while also completing two tackles in the process. He was solid and reliable as usual.
Kevin De Bruyne (6) – Not the best performance from the mercurial Belgian as his presence was not as influential in the final third that we have grown to see, but he wasn’t poor either.
Phil Foden (7) – Was his usual lively self in attack with the chances he had as well as his ability to beat his man on the ball but he, unfortunately, could not find the accent point to a decent outing.
Bernardo Silva (6.5) – Probably should have scored at some point tonight but overall he put in a decent outing and cannot be highlighted as a problem area.
Raheem Sterling (5.5) – A pretty ineffectual night for the England man and only got on the end of one chance with which to have any influence on proceedings.
Riyah Mahrez (sub; 6.5) – Bagged a goal as the only sub called upon my Guardiola and was generally solid in a 22-minute cameo.
Hugo Lloris (5) – Had an error leading to a goal and perhaps should be thankful that City managed to only put two shots officially on frame despite their overall shot total
Ben Davies (6) – Decent; made two solid tackles but nothing else of note truly stands out for the Welshman.
Eric Dier (6) – Okay at best and though he has deputized admirably at center-back this season, he really belongs in midfield moving forward.
Cristian Romero (6) – Have to go with 6’s across the board for the Tottenham backline. Romero was okay, but he proved to be solid in his ability to distribute on some level.
Ryan Sessegnon (6) – Solid in the tackle tonight (3 won) but he truly has not hit the heights many expected from the left-sided player when he broke through at Fulham.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (7) – The Danish international is standing the test of time at Tottenham no matter how much instability has taken hold in recent months. He put in a credible shift.
Rodrigo Bentancur (7) – A solid box-to-box effort tonight from the January acquisition. A decent midfield partnership with Højbjerg could certainly come about by next season.
Emerson Royal (6.5) – Perhaps one of his better performances since he arrived in the summer though nothing stellar. He has still to hit the expectations mark but he was okay.
Son Heung-min (8) – Did not get on the scoresheet but was instrumental as usual nonetheless with a brace of assists. He never stops turning up for Spurs.
Dejan Kulusevski (8) – The reason why Tottenham put faith in him during their January shopping excursion. He scored the fastest goal the club has ever managed in their 25-appearances at the Etihad. A good all-around performance from the Swede who has now arrived.
Harry Kane (9) – The England hitman was back in business tonight with a clutch brace that saw Tottenham get back in the fight for the race to fourth. If he is beginning to heat up, its at the right time.
Matt Doherty (sub; 6) – Came on for the final seven minutes. Not much to go on, but did complete a tackle in the process.
Davinson Sánchez (sub; 5) – A less than two-minute cameo leaves nothing to judge on.
Lucas Moura (sub; 6) – 10-minutes of action off the bench. It’s clear that he is not a first-choice option at the club moving forward.
What they said
Reflection of the overall performance – “It was a good game. I think we tried for many, many times, especially through the left. And that is difficult. They defend so deep, so narrow, and of course, when they are on the ball they have a lot of quality. You can put the ball with Harry Kane and keep the ball after the run. We tried for many things, they made two or three counter attacks because they are really good upfront and in the end, we lost the game.”
When asked about Harry Kane’s performance tonight – “Never was an option [for us]. Forget, it’s the past… He showed his quality. All UK knows it.”
On the state of his squad – “Honestly this is one of the best group of players I’ve worked with in my career. We have a lot of space for improvement. We have mainly young players to improve and make experience.”
Building on a strong result – “One win is not enough. Don’t forget we are coming off three losses. We can improve a lot. For me, this group of players is one of the best that I have worked with in my career. We have a lot of work to do, but I am not scared to work.”
What you may have missed
The Premier League table as it stands
|5||West Ham United||25||12||5||8||44||33||11||41|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||24||7||12||5||25||25||0||33|
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What time is kick off between Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur?
17:30, Saturday 19 February 2022
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