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Defiant Tottenham Hotspurs Stun Star-studded Manchester City

In the UCL QuaterFinals, Spurs won the exciting match in the home leg 1-0 against the Manchester City. A quick insight at the entire match.

AG
Last updated: 10.04.2019
Son Heung-min in UCL 

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Build-up to the Match


The stage was ready at the New White Hart Lane, hosting the first Champions League, for a highly anticipated European night, with stadium echoing “Come on you Spurs”, and “To Dare is to Do” reading on the South Stand. Spurs have been on the slump domestically, from being one of the title-contenders to going down to the top four race. This was the perfect opportunity for them to show why they should be taken seriously in Europe as well.

Manchester City’s dreams of winning the holy grail of a “Quadruple” is still alive and well. They have won the Carabao Cup already, and they are in the final of FA Cup. But historically, when it comes to the European competitions, City are proven to be quite inept by their standards. Even after spending over 1 Billion Pounds in the transfer budget, they have not been able to reach a Champions League final yet, with star-studded teams which, especially in the recent years, dominated domestically.

Delph, Gundogan, and Mahrez found their way back into the team, with City manager Pep Guardiola informing that Bernardo Silva is recovering from a slight injury.

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Pochettino had been quite vocal in the press about how they are going to set up against City, with more freedom to go forward, and high press from the very beginning. 


First Half


Both teams started the game with back-to-back attacks. Sterling showed his talent from the 1st meaningful attack of the game, creating a chance for David Silva, who was offside. 

Spurs created a great chance for themselves at the 7th minute of the game with a counter-attack through their left-wing. Alli and Sissokho provided a great run, but Alli couldn’t keep the ball down with his volley. 


Most Dramatic Moment of the Match


The most dramatic moment of the match didn’t take too long to arrive, after all, that’s what European nights are all about. At the 9th minute mark, Sterling made a great run at Trippier, cut inside and took his chance on goal. The shot was blocked by Rose, which apparently looked like a great defending effort, but the VAR decided to let the referee know that he should check the replay for a handball. The referee checked the replay, took about 3 minutes to make his decision but he decided that it was a handball. Even though not many City players appealed, they were awarded a penalty as the ball struck a falling Rose’s left arm. Aguero took the penalty at the 12th minute and it was saved by the Spurs captain Lloris. Lloris, after being under a bit of pressure specially since the Premier League game against Liverpool, looked to redeem himself with an all-important penalty save. 


The whole first half, Spurs were organized in their pressing, they picked their moments to press and they pressed together, where they started creating problems in City’s brand of playing from the back, but City’s attackers showed their qualities at times breaking through despite the press. 

Harry Kane missed a great chance in the box from an excellent advantage played by the referee at the 23rd minute after a Spurs player was taken down near the corner flag. The shot was saved by a diving Ederson, while Kane failed to place the ball in the bottom corner. 

Second Half


In the second half, City looked more in control, after a couple of half-chances on both sides. At the 55th minute mark, Fabian Delph caught Harry Kane’s ankle while clearing a ball. It didn’t look so serious at the moment, but Kane was seen hopping out of the stadium for further treatment and Lucas Moura was subbed in, who made an instant impact with a great run and won a free kick at the 58th-minute mark. Sterling at the 63rd minute again showed his excellent footwork, cut in and provided Silva in the middle who was offside. City slowly looked to be more in control of the game. Jesus was subbed in for Aguero at the 69th minute. Silva who looked to be in a great position was stopped by Winks at the 76th minute. 


The Only Goal



At the 78th minute, against the growing dominance of City, Tottenham found a breakthrough. Son kept the ball from going out for a corner with a great touch, cut in the middle and found the net with an unexpected shot. Ederson looked to be in a position to save the ball, however, it went through and Spurs were on the scoresheet. 



Final Thoughts

Son’s goal and Aguero’s penalty miss proved vital at the end of the game where Spurs won the home leg 1-0 against the mighty City. In the return leg, in front of the home crowd, City will very much look forward to winning and take themselves through to the Semis. It would be interesting to see if they start with more of their first-team players in the return leg. 

Let us know in the comments below, what you thought about the game and your predictions for the return leg.


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