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HomeWorldManchester City v Tottenham: Premier League – live

Manchester City v Tottenham: Premier League – live


Key events

16 min: To describe Tottenham’s defending as haphazard would be understating it. A lot of flailing and hacking. City win another corner by that route. Eventually, from the second or third ball, Silva pulls in Spurs players and sets up Haaland for a shot. That goes behind for another corner.

14 min: Haaland does miss a few, he just happens to score a truckload, too.

13 min: Chaos in the Spurs box, the ball bouncing off Porro and Vicario struggling to judge the flight of the ball. Then Spurs give it away, and Haaland has an open goal, and somehow he misses. He is human after all!

12 min: It has been pointed out that Manchester City’s ads boards seem especially large today. Is that legal? Still, all the record sponsorships don’t sell themselves.

10 min: This is the story of the Tottenham, a very silly game already. And thank God for that.

Goal! Manchester City 1-1 Tottenham (Son OG, 9)

Oh! That’s the other side of Ange-ball. A free-kick is whipped in, Haaland gets a breath on it, and Son’s lap does the rest.

Son Heung-Min scores an unfortunate own goal.
Son Heung-Min scores an unfortunate own goal. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

7 min: That was so so good from Tottenham. Wow, guys. Well, that’s the beauty of watching Postecoglou’s teams. They are always a threat, even if the counter isn’t their usual mode of goals. Son, though, showed all his experience…

Goal! Manchester City 0-1 Tottenham (Son, 6)

Their first attack! Ange-ball at its finest. Kulusevski is set away by Gil, and Doku is no defender, and Son slots past Ederson.

Son Heung-min scores for Tottenham
Son Heung-min runs away from Doku to score for Spurs! Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters

5 min: Vicario is forced to clear hurriedly as the City press forces Tottenham into back passes, and then comes a save from Doku. City look to want to get the job done early here.

2 min: An early corner, and Vicario gets something on it as Akanje threatens. City have a team of real size, while Tottenham have no centre-backs.

Here we go, here we go, this is it.

1 min: Off we go at the Etihad, and City soon set off at their rhythm.

Pep Guardiola’s programme notes included a “wow”: “We know Ange Postecoglou well from his time with our friends in Yokohama – the team he built there was exceptional. We played them in 2019 and wow…what a game that was. I had no doubts after that night in Japan he was a top manager. It will be a pleasure to see him again.”

Afternoon match reports

Ange reveals that the lack of Eric Dier, an actual centre-back is due to “Eric pulling up after training hurt”.

Ange gives it some Ange in his chat with Sky Sports: “We’re just going to try and play our football but you’ve always got to remember there’s an opponent there that’s going to try and stop you and a very, very good opponent today so we’re going to have to make adjustments during the game but what won’t change is the way we play our football.”

Full-time Premier League scores

West Ham 1-1 Crystal Palace
Bournemouth 2-2 Aston Villa
Chelsea 3-2 Brighton
Liverpool 4-3

There was an awful lot of time added on everywhere but West Ham, which was the game broadcast in the UK. Not the greatest scheduling you’ll see.

No centre-backs again for Ange, with Ben Davies and Emerson Royal the pair, and an adventurous midfield in Lo Celso and Bissouma. Bryan Gil is in the attacking trio, too. He’s going for it, as promised.

As for Manchester City, three changes from their latest meeting with RB Leipzig. Ederson, Jeremy Doku and Julian Alvarez replace Stefan Ortega, Rico Lewis and Jack Grealish. That’s a very strong team, in which in terms of the game last week with Liverpool, the one you probably forgot already, Nathan Ake out and Josko Gvardiol is the only alteration. Still, City weren’t great in that game so maybe there is hope for Spurs.

The teams

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Gvardiol, Dias, Akanji, Rodri, Silva, Foden, Doku, Alvarez, Haaland. Subs: Ortega, Phillips, Stones, Ake, Kovacic, Grealish, Gomez, Bobb, Lewis.

Tottenham: Vicario, Udogie, Porro, Royal, Davies, Bissouma, Lo Celso, Johnson, Kulusevski, Gil, Son. Subs: Forster, Austin, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Richarlison, Veliz, Santiago, Donley, Dorrington.

Ange’s latest “look, mate”. By David Hytner.

I think there’s a reason I’m sitting here and the reason is the end game is not to beat City. I’m not trying to set up a team to beat City, I’m trying to set up a team to be successful. If that was enough [beating City], I wouldn’t be sitting here. It would be somebody else.

It’s a legitimate question: ‘Why wouldn’t you do it if you know it’s going to be successful?’ But I’d be surprised if people would expect me to go down that route, knowing who I am as a manager.

When Pep first said “wow, guys” about Ange. By Jonathan Liew.

“So demanding,” wheezed Guardiola. “An incredible dynamic.” Raheem Sterling went further, praising Yokohama as “probably one of the best teams I’ve seen playing out from the back”.

Early team news tells a story

Manchester City

Doubtful None

Injured Nunes (fitness, unknown), De Bruyne (hamstring, Jan)

Suspended None

Tottenham

Doubtful None

Injured Richarlison (groin 10 Dec), Sarr (hamstring, 15 Dec), Sessegnon (hamstring, 15 Dec), Solomon (knee, Jan), Van de Ven (hamstring, Jan), Maddison (foot, Jan), Phillips (ankle, Jan), Bentancur (ankle, Feb), Perisic (knee, Jun)

Suspended Romero (third of three)

Preamble

All the dreams he held so close, seemed to all go up in smoke, where will he lead them from here? Ange Postecoglou, the darling of early season, has had a rough trot of late. The injuries are piling up, and now he faces the toughest test of all in the English game, a Manchester City team from which only Kevin De Bruyne is missing. Not only that, but Pep Guardiola has been praising Tottenham’s style of football in a manner that suggests he sees Spurs playing the right way: as in an open style in which his war machine will then crush and walk all over. Still, Ange ain’t changing his ways for nobody so that means he will go hell for leather at the Etihad. It’s a crazy plan and it’s probably not going to work but we don’t know that, so that’s why we’re here.

The kick-off is at 4.30pm UK time. Join me.



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