Film Focus: Reviewing Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City

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Film Focus: Reviewing Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Manchester City travelled to White Hart Lane to face a Tottenham side they had smashed six past earlier in the season.

City had been in red-hot form, seemingly scoring goals for fun and knew that a victory over the London-based side would send them to the top of the Premier League following Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Southampton on Tuesday.

However, Spurs were determined to make amends for the drubbing at the Etihad Stadium and had been in fine form themselves following Tim Sherwood's appointment.

Here's a run-down of how the clash between Tottenham and Man City played out.

 

Aguero sets City's tone early on

City started in the ascendency and almost took the lead on four minutes as Sergio Aguero showed strength and pace to burst into the Tottenham penalty area.

Though he was forced out wide, the talismanic striker sent a wicked effort crashing off the far post and out to safety—the hosts shellshocked at their opponents' lightning-quick start.

 

0-1: Aguero makes no mistake this time

The visitors took the lead on 15 minutes as Aguero raced between the two Tottenham centre-halves to finish past the onrushing Hugo Lloris.

However, despite Aguero's immense talent and ingenuity which helped City to grab the opener, Spurs played a huge part in their own downfall.

Courtesy of AnnatarUA on YouTube

Initially, as the above picture shows, a quick turnover of possession had a number of the home side's players out of position. Spurs were looking to move forward in numbers but should have been more wary of the attacking threat City possess.

In this case Moussa Dembele allowed David Silva too much space in the middle of the pitch—which gifted the Spaniard the opportunity to advance forward with not a single Tottenham player between him and their defence.

Whilst the Spanish maestro made his way towards the hosts' penalty area, Aguero's clever run—darting across the face of Michael Dawson and in behind Vlad Chiriches—opened up some space of which Silva duly played the ball into.

Sensing the danger, Lloris darted off his line in an attempt to thwart City's attack, but he could do nothing as Aguero delightfully clipped the ball beyond the Frenchman and into the back of the net.

 

0-2: Penalty decision that changed the game

The two sides went into the break with City leading by just the one goal, but five minutes into the second half, the game was effectively over.

Silva was once again involved as he tore down the left before rolling the ball inside to Fernandinho, who brushed off a number of challenges to reach the edge of the 18-yard box.

The Brazilian cleverly rolled the ball in behind Chiriches and into the path of Dzeko, who only had the goalkeeper to beat from 10 yards.

Courtesy of AnnatarUA on YouTube

However, Danny Rose's sliding tackle from behind, which made contact with the ball before sending the Bosnian striker tumbling, was deemed a foul. And to rub salt into Tottenham's wound, Rose was given his marching orders.

Down to ten men, the hosts then conceded a second as Yaya Toure stroked the ball home from the spot to put an end to the contest.

 

0-3: Dzeko gets on the scoresheet

With the numerical advantage, City ran riot—attacking in numbers and swamping the opposition midfield. Silva featured heavily throughout the match and was once again involved in their third.

A free-flowing, sweeping move from left to right allowed for the visitors to have a man over on the far touchline, with Pablo Zabaleta overlapping the impressive Jesus Navas.

Courtesy of AnnatarUA on YouTube

The full-back received the ball, moving to the byline before pulling the ball back to Silva 12 yards from goal. Cool, calm and collected, the Spaniard danced past Dawson and settled himself before shooting on goal, only to see his effort blocked on the line by Kyle Walker.

However, the danger wasn't over as Dzeko was on hand to simply prod the ball home from close range.

 

1-3: Unlikely comeback?

To their credit, Spurs continued to search for a goal despite often being caught short at the back and looked a real threat from set pieces all evening.

Their tall, powerful centre-halves—Dawson and Chiriches—as well as Emmanuel Adebayor, who had a relatively quiet game for the first time in recent weeks, imposed themselves on their opponents whenever the chance presented itself in the shape of a dead-ball situation.

And it may have taken them an hour, but the hosts reduced the deficit as substitute Etienne Capoue gave his side the slightest chance of a comeback.

Courtesy of AnnatarUA on YouTube

City captain Vincent Kompany will feel aggrieved at his part in the goal, as his poor positioning forced the Belgian to attempt a diving header to nick the ball away from Capoue.

Kompany failed to make sufficient contact with the ball and was left in a heap on the floor, allowing the Frenchman time and space to compose himself before slamming the ball into the net from close range.

 

1-4: Nope. A rampant City add their fourth

With little over ten minutes to play, Tottenham had to try and force the issue. It was an all-or-nothing tactic with Tim Sherwood risking the chance of his side going further behind in order to try and grab a vital second goal that would set up a tense finale. And although they threatened a few more times, that is exactly what Spurs did.

The hosts saw an opportunity to move forward, as captain Dawson ventured out with the ball as he looked to engineer something. But the moment Spurs lost possession, he was caught out of position—along with the rest of the makeshift defensive line.

Courtesy of AnnatarUA on YouTube

Jesus Navas, Silva and Fernandinho swamped the right side of the pitch as Spurs looked to regain their shape, but left Stevan Jovetic unmarked wide on the left.

The Montenegrin striker received the ball and advanced into the penalty area, cutting inside Walker and sending a deflected effort past the despairing dive of Lloris to score his first league goal.

 

1-5: Kompany ensures an emphatic victory

With a minute left to play, City were awarded a corner kick and capitalised from it—captain Kompany scoring his side's 11th goal past Spurs in two meetings.

In fairness, there was nothing too special about City's corner routine, as the Spurs defenders switched off.

Courtesy of AnnatarUA on YouTube

Jesus Navas' set piece from the right wasn't dealt with, which allowed for Dzeko to volley at goal from 15 yards and, in the hope of stopping the Bosnian from scoring, Dawson charged towards the ball.

However, in doing so, the defender left his opposite number Kompany unmarked and when the ball broke loose, the Belgian was on hand to tap in.

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