Premier League: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
The hosts controlled the formative stages of the match and enjoyed the early possession. They made their superiority count when Phil Foden nodded in the opener in the 5th minute. The Englishman ventured into the Spurs’ penalty area unnoticed and was superbly found by Sergio Aguero.
After the goal went in, City tried to increase their advantage yet couldn’t conjure anything substantial.
The opening minutes of the second period saw the visitors do the early running. However, the hosts quickly staved off the away side’s threat and started to turn the screw. Unfortunately for City, they weren’t able to add to their tally.
Here is a look at the five talking points from the game.
#5 Mauricio Pochettino gets his tactics wrong
Mauricio Pochettino raised plenty of eyebrows before kick-off when he named four recognised central defenders in his starting eleven. Juan Foyth started as the right wing-back whereas Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez functioned as the three centre backs.
With the said system in place, Spurs were intent on sitting back and releasing Son Heung Min and Lucas Moura into the attacking channels. Though the said strategy worked on occasions, the lack of impetus disabled the away side from establishing themselves in the middle third.
For a major chunk of the game, Eric Dier and then Victor Wanyama cut isolated figures in midfield. The pair was swarmed over by City’s midfielders time and again and they had to resort to playing backwards and sideways.
Moreover, the lack of control in midfield reduced Cristian Eriksen and Dele Alli’s influence greatly.
In mid-week, Spurs threw City’s Champions League charge into disarray courtesy a brand of brave and attacking football.
Yet, when the Premier League rolled into town, the visitors were content to let the hosts make the play and it eventually backfired.
And the defeat to City has now left the door open for Arsenal to leapfrog Spurs into third come Sunday.