Champions League, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points
The Cityzens were knocked out in this stage of the competition last season by Liverpool. Tottenham had the privilege of playing their first ever Champions League game in the new stadium and tactically too, it was a blessing.
In what was a very surprising lineup as Pep Guardiola left Leroy Sane, Kevin de Bruyne, on the bench, while Bernardo Silva was left out of the squad.
Mauricio Pochettinho lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with Sissoko and Winks playing as pivots. All of the fab four of Tottenham were present on the pitch.
It took until the 78th minute to break the deadlock open. Surprisingly, it was Spurs who took the lead against the run of play, through Son Heung-min. Mauricio Pochettinho's men held their ground until the end of the play and will carry a crucial lead into the second leg. Here are five talking points from the game.
#5 No away goal, City still feels the nerves in a European night
Manchester City were the overwhelming favorites in the tie. Almost every pundit, newspaper, bookmaker, had favored them to sail through Tottenham. However, in an unusual turn of events, City never looked convincing in the game. Their progressive play took several roadblocks in the build-up and they could do nothing to bypass it.
Even though they got a penalty, Aguero missed from the spot and couldn't get the away goal. If you looked at Pep Guardiola's face, he wasn't even watching the penalty kick. Really? Is this what Manchester City has got? No body language of a big game, no intent, no attitude, and on top of that, nerves. City's build-up play showed a lot of nerves and they were forced to play the long ball on many occasions.
This is one of the main reasons that Manchester City, despite being the Kings of England, are not the favorites to lift the title. Because when it comes to Europe, they have always been lackluster, and they have always let the nerves get the better of them. How else do you explain them conceding set-pieces in dangerous areas?
How else do you explain their broken progression? How else do you explain the poor penalty by a great player? How else do you explain a coach who won't even look at a penalty?