MAN CITY 2 – 1 Tottenham – MY THOUGHTS

12 Nov

After sloppily conceding once again from a set-piece, the Blues produced an excellent display, one full of character and spirit to secure the victory and maintain a quite remarkable home Premier League record. Tottenham can be hugely tricky opponents, usually full of pace and vibrancy in attack, but City nullified their threat and in the second half especially, imposed their brand of free-flowing football on the game.

It was Edin Dzeko’s clinical finish from David Silva’s sublimely chipped throughball that won the game and although it arrived late, as so many of City’s winning goals have this season, it was nothing other than what City deserved. This was a performance of self-belief, of resilience and of three moments of individual brilliance that moved the Blues into second place, just two points behind Manchester United.

For much of the game, despite bossing possession and controlling the tempo of play, the Blues looked a touch insipid, lacking that pinch of creativity that could unlock Spurs’s backline. But then came a tactical change from Roberto Mancini and it altered the game.

On came Maicon, much to the hilarity of the visiting fans who remembered with glee just how Gareth Bale had treated the Brazilian a couple of years previously in a Champions League encounter, and the Blues’ system was switched to the oft-criticised 3-5-2 formation. That move took courage from Mancini, knowing full well how the media would seize upon that decision if the result didn’t turn out as planned, but it was a tactical masterstroke which boosted City.

Maicon offered a high-quality outlet on the right, stretching Tottenham’s defence out wide and thus creating more space centrally for the likes of Silva and Yaya Touré. City equalised through a moment of composure by Sergio Aguero, a goal which came about from Yaya having space in front of him to surge forward, and that then provided the impetus to push for the winner.

With Maicon providing a stream of dangerous, pacy crosses into the box and Silva granted more freedom to roam, a winner looked likely, especially after Edin Dzeko’s introduction from the bench. And so it proved. The Spanish maestro produced a quite brilliant lofted pass to the Bosnian to slam home and send the home fans delirious. It highlighted yet again how Dzeko can be effective coming off the bench late on to take advantage of a weary defence and after a couple of questionable showings in Europe, it was a good day for Roberto Mancini and his tactics.

One other key element was how both of City’s fullbacks, Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy, were integral to the success by the way in which they limited the involvement of Bale and Aaron Lennon. Tottenham’s wingers are their main threat, their pace on the counter-attack often causing many problems, but Zabaleta and Clichy got tight, pressed them high up and denied them the space to turn and run. It may not have been the prettiest job but it was vital and as a result, we were able to control the midfield battle and then build from there.

Opposition View: Spurs were hugely disappointing. Their attacking play, normally so intense and full of purpose, was extremely limited and with their main wide threats negated, they failed to pose any consistent problems for City’s defence. Moussa Dembélé’s absence was keenly felt such is his ability to take people on and carry the side forward, but with him missing there was a lethargy about their play.

As for City, the second half display emphasised the self-belief and confidence, domestically at least, within the squad and it was no surprise to see Dzeko notch a late winner. Next weekend sees Aston Villa visit the Etihad Stadium and few would bet against the Blues recording another victory, and then comes the challenge of Real Madrid in the Champions League.

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16 Responses to “MAN CITY 2 – 1 Tottenham – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Spursfan 12/11/2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Dear long-suffering Spursfans

    Do you still have faith in Levy and AVB? Do you blame AVB? Who appointed him knowing his achievements at Chelsea?
    But who sacked Harry and other recent managers and who sold our best players
    without replacement and who appointed AVB anyway? Levy a Spurs fan? A tough
    negotiator? Or just a money-maker tough businessman? You, the fans to judge.
    I’m just another long-suffering Spursfan

    • Siamack 12/11/2012 at 9:11 pm #

      I got to admin that this Spur team is nothing like the one that was playing under Harry. Harry’s sacking was a HUGE mistake!

  2. Siamack 12/11/2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Though Zab and Clichy were both exceptional and both deserve to be man of the match, In reality the true Man of the man was Mancini.

    Being recently on the end of stick unfairly and knowing that media vultures were just waiting there for another onslaught of attacks, he produced another tactical masterstroke.

    Nothing made me happier than when Maicon wiped the smirk off the face of those Spurs fans who cheered his introduction. The fact that our two wide men (Zab and Clichy) played so close to Bale and Lennon played right into Tottenham’s hand as the only for City to go forward was from the middle and Spurs had the area totally shut.

    But boy oh boy, Maicon introduction changed the whole landscape. My hat off to Mancini.

    • Alphie_Izzett 13/11/2012 at 10:48 am #

      Completely Agree!


    • Jem 13/11/2012 at 6:35 pm #

      I’m a City fan, I’ve never been a great admirer of Mancini, I think the team could do a lot better without him. Too many tactics and rotates too much. This time he got it right but as they say even a broken clock………
      Still good to see us right up there in our “bad patch”, unbeaten, 2 points off the top and this is our bad patch, not bad. Hopefully the sexy football comes back but even if it doesn’t, back to back titles sexy or any other way will do me. Still if we are not banging in 3/5/6 goals per match we are useless according to the anti city brigade.

  3. Cityfan2513 12/11/2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Zabaleta and Clichy were sensational on Sunday. Zaba is my favourite City player and has been for a while. A model of consistency, his attitude and commitment never in doubt, and on top of that a top class yet underrated defender. His lack of pace is rarely an issue because of his combination of work-rate, timing, positioning and general footballing nous. Bale hardly had a sniff.

    Clichy is benefiting from a run in the team. His energy levels are excellent and he can dispossess a player just by constant harrying and aggression. I noticed in the terrible performance against Swansea a few weeks back he seemed the only one interested in picking the team up until Tevez took over in the second half. Motm against Spurs, just in front of Zabaleta.

  4. spursguv 12/11/2012 at 10:09 pm #

    I’ve followed Spurs ever since I can remember i’m now 52. What gets me is Spurs no matter who is in charge do the same ol things. Sacking Harry had to happen. Lets put things into perspective. I reckon Levy knew we’d lose VDV and Modric. Seeing as Harry struggled to win games without Parker and/or King it’s a no brainer he had to go. AVB really does my head in. But Spurs will be better for the experience because as I eluded to earlier Spurs need to learn there’s a defensive side to football as well as attack. We are currently without Dembele, Benny, Parker and Kaboul. Ade has only recently been fit so if you weight things up AVB has done well with the players he has available. With a full squad would he be picking Dempsey, Livermore etc.? I hope not, but I’m not sure. We need to rotate players regardless of who we play because we need the squad to be familiar with each other, as injuries are part of the game. Why AVB does my head in is for the really stupid things he’s capable of. Walker off for Dawson? Why not Naughton? He actually came on later. By the time AVB had finished we needed to chase a game with 5 defenders on the pitch and he yet again took off a striker for a striker when we needed goals. It’s a real dilemma. Years ago we gave a manager a year or three. Today everyone (me too) is demanding results yesterday. Harry didn’t win a thing in four years! His first season was ordinary, so I guess we need to give AVB a chance too. But honestly I’d give him the flick and get Martinez from Wigan. We need Levy to step up in Jan and buy a 20 million pound striker. If we’re to compete at the highest level we need a willian or better still a Ferdandinho. At the mo we are too slow because we have Dempsey and Hudd who are just about the slowest players in the EPL. So there ya go. Not happy with AVB sometimes but the squad is pretty thin. Even when Parker et al are fit it’s still not on par with Chelsea, City, Man u or even Arsenal. Funny thing is if AVB had chosen correctly you get the feeling we could of beaten City and Chelsea. Arsenal next and surely we’ll go for the jugular. We can give them a real beating, but we need all of our best on the pitch not the bench.

    • blue bullet 12/11/2012 at 10:44 pm #

      I have to say that after united that the team I dislike most probably along side everton is spurs. Reading above, though not too different to many club fans im sure, I cant help but feel a little aggrivated by the comments about Harry and suggesting you should be winning things.’He had an average first season’, wernt u in the relegation zone when he took over? Where he got you well out of trouble followed by beating us to 4th the season after?. You also suggest he had to go because when he missed 2 big players in the past you didnt do as well, and so having sold 2 this summer it was a ‘no brainer’, thats just so ridiculous i dont know where to start. Now AVB needs to go after 11 games I see you say, just how long would you be willing to give Martinez if you got your man? As for the comment ‘if the manager had picked right you feel we would have beat man c and chelsea’ is another that is not only impossible to say but probably unlikely considering the scorelines. Finally to suggest Harry had to go because he didnt win anything, especially considering the position you were in and the time since your last trophy, is exactly the kind of delusion that makes me dislike many of this clubs fans.

    • Siamack 12/11/2012 at 11:17 pm #

      I got to agree with “blue bullet”, Harry got you out of trouble and then when he took Spurs to Champions league, your team was playing at its peak a very attacking football. All that was needed was more investment to sign one or two more world class players and then you could have had a team to challenge for title for a couple of years with a very good chance of winning trophies. Your chairman balked at the idea and decided to go Arsenal on you. Harry was just the scape-goat.

    • BartSpur 13/11/2012 at 4:05 am #

      Spursguv I agree with most of your post. But I feel for AVB, he’s under huge pressure & I reckon he’s done well after just 11 games, with the injuries we’ve got & the players we didn’t buy in the summer.
      We obviously need more than Dembele – HR had Modric & VDV. We need another quality striker – I’d suggest Huntelaar for the price & his experience. And we need a 2nd LB – Bastos is apparently availabe for $8mill or so & he can cover for Bale as well.
      Other than that I think that AVB will take us forward if he’s given the time & support.

  5. Albert M Swash 12/11/2012 at 11:30 pm #

    This comes all the way from Canada. With all the injuries we have, it has become evident, what is wrong with our team is simply we have no bench. As for last Saturday, for some reason, we played without Bale and Lennon who were conspicuous by their absence. Last Wednesday they were phenomenal, Saturday, a bust.

    • John Hendrix 13/11/2012 at 8:49 am #

      Bale & Lennon had Tom Carroll feeding them on Wednesday (i know it was only Maribor). We have some good young players who don’t get a sniff in the prem. eg Falque & Carroll. Either of these could have been much more effective than Dempsey (he’s not good enough for team with top 4 ambitions). AVB is a project manager not a football manager. He doesn’t seem like someone who would exert authority over modern day footballers, and although that sounds primitive, it’s a vital ingredient. If the players don’t have some fear/respect for the gaffer, then it’s a waste of time. Ade has to start every game, Lloris too or we will lose him. Dembele is a huge loss as have been Kaboul & Benny

  6. middle east blue 13/11/2012 at 9:52 am #

    How many more times will Aguero slip up -4 times v Ajax and the one on one v Spurs -time to change the boots Mr Teflon . Believe me if it would happen to Mario or even to Edwin we would not have heard the end of it . Give Edwin the supply of crosses he so much needs and I’m sure we will see more goals all round.

    • Alphie_Izzett 13/11/2012 at 10:49 am #

      We’d need to sign Edwin first MEB.

      Errh, who is he anyway?

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