Spurs 2 Manchester City 0: Touching Distance of the Top Four
Sometimes, things go your way and after another farcical afternoon for VAR and some rare profligacy from Manchester City, Spurs came away with the points. It hasn’t always been the case this season but this welcome win now puts us within 4 points of the Champions League places.
A debut goal from Steven Bergwijn was an undoubted highlight and, following a difficult few weeks, a victory against the league champions may just give the side the momentum they need heading into the ‘business end’ of the campaign.
The game is all about taking your chances and that’s what ultimately decided this game. Former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas seemed to go on the attack towards manager Jose Mourinho, citing City’s wasteful afternoon as the key to this match and, while there was a grain of truth, credit has to also go to our defence – and to the returning Hugo Lloris between the posts. France’s World Cup winning captain has given us some hairy moments this season but the penalty save and some other crucial interventions kept us in it early on.
Another turning point came in the second half when City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko saw red. Within minutes, Bergwijn’s chest and volley from Lucas Moura’s assist had put us ahead and the lead was doubled thanks to Son Heung-Min’s deflected shot.
The possession and shots stats pointed towards an away win but we’ve all been flattered by those numbers in the past. It’s all about putting it in the back of the net and no-one, aside from Manchester City supporters, would have had any sympathy with the visitors at the end of 90 minutes.
Speaking to the official Spurs website after the game, manager Jose Mourinho said:
The boys were fantastic, amazing spirit. It was a difficult match, of course and the three points so important.
It’s the best feeling for the players to have that week and say ‘fantastic work, fantastic result’. Everyone on the pitch, even the ones not on the pitch, I think everybody played, great empathy with the fans, great feeling for Steven to come and to feel that this is not just a beautiful stadium, but also a great atmosphere, so, perfect.
With Chelsea and Leicester drawing on Saturday, the opportunity to sneak into the top four opens up again. The gap is now four points and the crucial fixture in this respect will come later this month as we head to Stamford Bridge.
The schedule starts to get crowded again, starting on Wednesday with our fourth round FA Cup replay at home to Southampton. At the weekend, it’s back to league matters with a trip to Aston Villa before our first leg champions league tie at home to RB Leipzig.
It’s a critical time ahead and while Sunday’s win wasn’t the most convincing, three points against the second place side will hopefully provide the team with the belief they need as they tackle these tough assignments. With Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose having departed, the squad can also settle and suddenly, it’s all starting to look a lot more positive.