Manchester City managed to keep Tottenham at bay, in a hard-fought win at Wembley Stadium on Monday Night. Beating Spurs meant they stayed level on points with rivals Liverpool, and top-of-the-table on goal difference. This also marked their seventh clean sheet in eight games. The match was good but tough, with a pitch that was torn up from the NFL game and still displayed the brightly coloured logo on the centre circle. Not the ideal state for a good game of football but under the conditions, I think it’s fair to say City played well.
While City have previously played much better than they did against Spurs, it’s the sign of true champions to be able to shut down your rivals even when you aren’t at your best. In terms of possession, it was pretty evenly shared, with City just edging it with 52% and Spurs only managing to get four shots in all match as opposed to City’s 13.
Defensively, City won slightly fewer duels and aerials but made more interceptions and clearances. They worked hard to make sure Spurs couldn’t get many shots in and came out on top in the end. It is interesting to note that both teams received the exact same number of offsides (four), yellow cards (two) and fouls (13).
Super Sterling and Magic Mahrez
I have highlighted Sterling in previous articles but once again the man played a crucial part in City’s win. Not only did he make Trippier work but he also got the assist for Mahrez‘s goal. In attack, he had one shot on target, put in three crosses, made three key passes and three dribbles. However, that wasn’t the extent of his input. He also made one clearance, was fouled three times and won six duels. He really is shining at the moment and it’s fantastic to watch.
With what I can only imagine would have been a really tough few days for ex-Leicester man Riyad Mahrez, he put in an outstanding performance. He scored the only goal of the match and hit the woodwork with another effort. He also made three dribbles, put in four crosses, four long balls and had an impressive 88% passing accuracy. He also won six of the duels he was involved in. The only downside was that he made one error that led to a shot.
Although it was not their best performance, City still put in a solid effort, under conditions that most would dread to play in. Looking forward, their next opponents are Southampton as they return to the Etihad and with Southampton having won only one match this season, City will be hoping for a comfortable home win.