A Riyad Mahrez tap-in was enough to secure City their fourth win at Wembley this year, as they toppled Tottenham to move back to the top of the league.
Mahrez was fittingly inspirational for Pep Guardiola’s men this evening, scoring the only goal of the evening as they saw off a second half Spurs’ fightback to take all three points back.
It only took City till the fifth minute mark to get themselves in front. Kieran Trippier made a huge error, misplacing his header towards Hugo Lloris which allowed Sterling to get in behind the Tottenham defence. He squared the ball to Riyad Mahrez who tapped it home, dedicating his goal to the victims of the tragic Leicester City helicopter crash.
Spurs responded well to this early setback, Harry Kane coming close with a powerful effort from distance, having spotted Ederson off his line. It was Manchester City, however, who were still in the ascendency, slicing through Tottenham with every attack.
Shortly after the restart City missed huge opportunities to kill the game off. Lloris passed the ball straight to Aguero, but couldn’t get his shot off, the erratic French stopper being bailed out by Eric Dier. Minutes later Bernardo Silva broke clear and squared the ball to David Silva who also couldn’t get a shot away, and Sterling didn’t do much better with the finish.
Lamela spurned the best chance of the night however ten minutes before time. Dele Alli won the ball off Mahrez and broke into City’s final third, placing the ball on a plate for Lamela. All the Argentinian had to do was finish but he fluffed his lines, blasting Spurs’ best chance of the night over the bar.
Check out our breakdown of the game below.
Key Talking Point
Tottenham showed that their summer transfer window has evidently shot them in the foot.
Spurs lack a game changer from the bench, Alli and Christian Eriksen being placed on the bench despite struggling with injury. They have no one in an attacking area to replace Kane if he is having a bad night, which he was against City.
Harry Kane should have jumped ship when Spurs showed no real ambition in multiple transfer markets. Only has himself to blame for not trying to force a move to a giant like Real Madrid. Can’t risk stagnating his career when he’s at the top of his game.
— EiF (@EiFSoccer) October 24, 2018
It was evident in the summer Spurs needed reinforcements, especially in attacking areas but this didn’t materialise. If Spurs want to make a real go at the top four this season, they need a top class striker or forward to support captain Kane.
Starting XI: Lloris (5), Trippier (5) , Alderweireld (7) , Sanchez (7) , Davies, (6) , Dier, (6) , Dembele, (7), Sissoko, (8) , Lamela (7) , Lucas (6) , Kane (5)
Substitutes: Winks, (5), Alli, (7), Eriksen, (5)
Moussa Sissoko is often berated, but he put in a massive shift against City tonight.
Often energetic, Sissoko made up for his limited technical ability with sheer athleticism, Sissoko rediscovered his form from Euro 2016 that seen him get a move to Spurs.
I think the players can learn a lot from how Sissoko played today. It wasn’t even particularly what he did today, he just had one thing that virtually everyone else lacked…
He always tried to do something when he could, he bigged himself up for the game, as he should
— Lloyd (Check pinned) (@KTGcoys) October 29, 2018
He caused Mendy problems all night, and minus a few silly errors, it was a near flawless
performance from Sissoko.
If he can cut-out the errors in his game, he can be a real force in midfield for Spurs.
Hugo Lloris looked lost in between the sticks for Spurs, a shadow of the man that once was one of the best shot-stoppers in the Premier League. He hasn’t been himself this season and tonight was another poor performance from the French international.
Lloris almost as bad as Trippier for their goal btw.
— tehTrunk (@tehTrunk) October 29, 2018
He was hesitant for Mahrez’s goal and almost gave away a second after the restart, passing the ball straight to Aguero. His mistakes put Spurs under constant pressure as Lloris continues to struggle in a Spurs shirt.
It was a night to forget for Lloris.
Key Talking Point
City once again proved why they are the champions of England. They took the lead early on and made sure they weren’t going to be defeated from this point on.
This wasn’t a great City performance in terms of the attacking prowess they have, but it showed their determination to win. They showed many sides to their game. At one stage they pressed Tottenham back to their own goal and created there goal from this. They then played possession based football to tire Spurs before hitting them on the counter after the hour mark.
It was a tactical masterclass from Guardiola, and showed that City be favourites for the Premier League crown this season.
Starting XI: Ederson, (7), Walker (7), Stones (7), Laporte (7), Mendy (5), Fernandinho (6), Silva, (6), Mahrez, (8), Bernardo, (6), Sterling, (8), Aguero, (6)
Substitutes: De Bruyne, (6), Kompany, (N/A), Jesus, (N/A)
Considering the 48 hours he has had, it was a surprise to some that Riyad Mahrez was even playing against Spurs.
The former Leicester man has joined the football community in grief after the tragic passing of Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the man partly responsible for bringing Mahrez to England. He performed brilliantly tonight for City, getting his name on the scoresheet early on and built upon his game from there.
How fitting that Riyad Mahrez, one of Leicester’s heroes should score the first goal.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 29, 2018
He worked hard for his team in defence and Spurs couldn’t handle him at times during the game. Mahrez put in a super shift for City and can be proud of his efforts in the capital.
Benjamin Mendy was a poor performer for City against Spurs, often showing laziness and poor decision making in what was a solid performance from City. Mendy struggled with Lamela all game, and was overwhelmed by French counterpart Sissoko, with the Spurs midfielder brushing past him on countless occasions.
His poor decision making in the first half almost let Sissoko in to score in the first half, and his lack of urgency to get back will be of concern to Guardiola.
Spurs will have very little time to think about tonight’s result, as their attention will quickly turn to Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup clash with London rivals West Ham. Pochettino will most likely rest key players for the cup clash.
Manchester City will have until Thursday to prepare for their next game, which is also in the Carabao Cup against Fulham.