The final score was 2-2 because City was denied a late goal in the stoppage time. Before the final whistle, Guardiola and Pochetino were discussing the bizarre end and perhaps City’s Deja Vu moment.
Both the teams opted for a trusted 4-3-3 formation as the two giants want to keep a tight game and stop early goals. City started building up the game using the center-backs and had the ball possession while Spurs’ side transformed into 4-4-1-1 often. The rock-solid formation of Spurs and not pressing high ensures no early goals.
The Clever Game Plan of Spurs
City wanted three central players in the build-up who can swing and play around Kane. Even if Guardiola’s side wanted to move high up the pitch, the Spurs’ team had a plan to quickly become compact horizontally and vertically to reduce the space available for the City midfielders to penetrate through the center.
Zinchenko, the left-back, plays as an inward full-back but the Spurs game plan impacted the formation. He has to switch to a wider position and Raheem Sterling has to tuck in many times to stretch the Spurs defense.
Manchester City was not able to dominate on the left-hand side and become less compacted. Eric Lamela and Ericksen were playing high so wide overload was the possible answer from City.
Choking Guardiola’s Side
Guardiola’s side was heavily overloaded the left-side to break the impenetrable Spurs team and switch the ball to the far right. However, Silva and De Bruyne don’t link up too well.
Pochetino has a trick up in his sleeve for Kyle Walker (former Spurs player) as Ericksen was marking him and playing high instead of doubling up. City made quite a few goal-scoring chances from the right side.
Stopping the ball supply to De Bruyne was crucial for Spurs side as he creates chances and squeezes through midfield. Sterling scored the first goal for City as Ericksen mark Kyle Walker giving De Bruyne enough space to give a low-flying cross.
Stats: Manchester City also boasted a 91% pass accuracy rating and created 607 total passes compared to Spurs’ 501 with City enjoying 56% possession to Tottenham’s 44% ratio.
The second goal also came from the right side as De Bruyne had space to roam free and terrorize the defenders. The quick switch from left to the right side for City was risky. Because it gives Ericksen and Lamela a chance to pair up and make a long run to push back the City team.
Whenever Spurs has the possession, City was charging and playing a high line in a 4-4-2 formation. To outnumber City, Spurs were using all the tactics to stay compact and capitalize at the same time. Walker-Peter was pulled back and join the back three, Danny Rose keep charging from the left allowing Ericksen to play at his best position and creating chances for Kane.
Dembele formed double pivots to try and provide options for the Spurs team. With Zinchenko moving high up the pitch, Sissoko found gaps and encounter when he is not around.
Kevin De Bryne is fully-fit again coming back from last season injuries and was the most dominant’s creative force for the home side and was driven by the determination to get things done. The City’s goal scorers were assisted by De Bruyne from the right flank. Manchester City was punished for making a huge mistake in the first half by giving Lamela space to readjust and take a shot from outside the box. Leveling Spurs with City almost instantly.
The stoppage-time goal does not stand and it stays 2-2 in the end. Jesus was disallowed a winner and City won only two points at home against Spurs.
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