It was a disappointing finish for City at the weekend. But it’s a long season and the lads will be back at it this Saturday. Let’s take a look at what went down in North London before we move on.
The view from both sides of the match. We’ll start with Saul Garcia’s quick reaction to the events of the day.
Saul found City flat on the day. An uneven performance that tainted Jack Grealish’s EPL debut for MCFC.
Manchester City have lost the initial match of the Premier League season, losing to a very motivated Spurs side.
A bad performance as City did not play at level with a seriously rotated squad. Man City came out with some energy, but it waned and came out losing in the end.
One where City was in control with possession and chances created.
The second half was solid and City had few to any real creative players out there. Jack Grealish’s PL debut was tainted as City lost and he was besieged by fouls.
Quick Match Recap: Manchester City 0-1 Spurs https://t.co/ZVLN2zRohh— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) August 15, 2021
Over at Man City Square, J.C. Gonzalez gave his view of the proceedings.
Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City: Champions Defeated - J.C. Gonzalez - Man City Square
A stunning goal from Heung-Min Son separated the two sides, but Spurs looked visibly improved under new manager Nuno Espírito Santo and created a host of chances. City fielded a weakened starting XI and also managed to create opportunities, but without a true center forward were unable to put them away. Furthermore, Spurs managed to play very well even in the absence of star striker Harry Kane, who has been continually linked with a move to the side that his current team just defeated.
For City, it is not panic stations yet as it is just the opening match, but there were worrying signs. Spurs were worthy winners of this match, and despite the absences in the team, City’s £100 million star Jack Grealish was on the pitch along with reigning FWA Player of the Year Rúben Dias.
Our counterparts at Cartilage Free Captain had a rosier view of the goings on. Sean Cahill gave the timeline of events and his thoughts on the match. Three of Spurs top performers were singled out.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Manchester City: The Nuno era gets off to a rocking start thanks to Sonny - Sean Cahill - Cartilage Free Captain
Sonny continues to torture Pep. He just loves ruining his day and he did so with that wonderful goal.
Japhet Tanganga is my man of the match. He bodied up Raheem Sterling early and often. He was clearly in Sterling’s head and never got going. I think it’s safe to say those loan talks are all but dead.
Dele was fantastic as well. He looked like Dele of old creating chances and putting in some solid tackles.
Player ratings are out. Several City players had a rough Sunday but some were given high marks as well.
Man City player ratings: Jack Grealish bright but Benjamin Mendy poor vs Tottenham - Steven Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
Steven Bajkowski gave low marks to Rúben Dias, Nathan Aké, and particularly Mendy, but was much more complimentary to two City midfielders.
Gundogan: An important clearance off the line and a measured performance in midfield that included his trademark ghosting runs into the box. 7
Grealish: One of City’s best players, at least. He ran at Spurs, beating men or drawing fouls, and linked up well with Sterling in what was a very promising debut. 7
“A moving brick wall at the back” – Player Ratings as Spurs and Son stun Man City for the fourth year in a row - Muhammad Butt - Squawka.com
Muhammad Butt had glowing praise for more than a few Spurs players. He was really impressed with the performances of Japhet Tanganga and Lucas Moura on the day.
Japhet Tanganga – 9 – Set the tempo early on with consistent fouls on Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling. When the referee didn’t book him for his fourth foul, instead giving him a ridiculously elaborate final warning, it only seemed to galvanise him. Dominated City’s formidable left side for the rest of the game until he was bizarrely subbed off with 10 minutes remaining.
Lucas Moura – 9 – Absolutely phenomenal display from Lucas. He didn’t score or get an assist yet Spurs’ display would have been simply impossible without him on the field (and to be fair, his lovely flick did start the move for the goal). Led the break on almost every occasion with a mesmeric confidence, completing 5/8 take-ons.
Finally, some injury news to watch as midfielder and last season’s top goal scorer, Ikay Gundogan, suffered a late nick in the match. Sam Lee of The Athletic UK tweets that it will be examined today.
Guardiola says Gundogan has a shoulder injury. They will see how it is tomorrow— Sam Lee (@SamLee) August 15, 2021
Fingers crossed for Ilkay. Come back tomorrow as we begin to prep for the home opener against Norwich City.