Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City matchday 25's big-match review
Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur welcomed Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in another match between two of the world's best managers, a rivalry since their days in the La Liga. The matchup promised so much, top of which was which manager would be the winner of the contest.
Both teams weren't in perfect form in the build up to the match, City losing at home to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semis second leg and Tottenham not performing up to expectations without the injured Harry Kane.
Manchester City, as expected, started the match the more menacing of the two teams, with Tottenham comfortable to attack on the break, another Jose hallmark. Sergio Aguero saw his effort finger-tipped onto the post before winning a penalty after VAR rightly adjudged Serge Aurier's challenge on Aguero to be a foul. Hugo Lloris was once the savior, diving right to his left to save Ilkay Gundogan's penalty and spill it, though he was off the line when the ball was kicked. Raheem Sterling raced onto the rebound and was seemingly caught by Lloris, although it only looked like he wanted to buy the foul.
VAR however checked it and deemed it not a foul whilst some City and Tottenham players had a little scuffle because of the dive/foul. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Toby Alderweireld were shown yellow cards for excessive aggression in the scuffle. Despite the Cityzens dominating the first half, the match was goalless at the interval.
Guardiola's men resumed the second half in similar fashion and had another chance shortly after the restart, Gundogan jumping in at Sterling's pass across goal and volleying over after another City break. Zinchenko then got his marching orders after another yellow card for a foul on Harry Winks running on the break after Riyad Mahrez's poor corner was intercepted.
With City down to ten men, Tottenham took the lead three minutes later, new signing Steven Bergwijn hitting a sweet half-volley past Ederson Moraes on his debut. And just eight minutes later they were two up. Son's powerful shot following nice footwork from Tanguy Ndombele slightly deflected off Fernandinho to beat Ederson in goal. And just like that, a win for Manchester City looked bleak and unlikely.
Guardiola brought on Gabriel Jesus and then Bernardo Silva in an attempt to get something from the game. City continued pushing for a draw or at least one goal. And while a comeback looked likely to the very end, in large parts due to the famed quality and potency of their attack, Tottenham looked like a well-trained Mourinho side and got a win and a clean sheet.
This was reminiscent of their match in August at the Etihad when City had 30 shots and 10 on target, compared to Tottenham's three shots and two on target and the match ended 2-2. This time, Guardiola's team had 19 shots with six on target at North London to Spurs' three shots with all three on target.
The result? A win for Spurs. And yet another Jose defensive masterclass. Resolute defending and clinical counterattacking efficiency. Jose Mourinho has now defeated Pep Guardiola with four different teams, each time Pep having a squad arguably better than Jose's too.
Could Jose's Tottenham carry on from here and push for a top-four finish? Or is this just a flash in the pan? Well, as they say, time will tell.
Cover image credits: The Mirror