Manchester City failed to take advantage of the opportunity to seize control of the title race by falling to Tottenham Hotspur 1-0. The Sky Blue men have a full seven days to get it right on the training ground ahead of a home match with Aston Villa. Sky Blue News has all the latest to keep up to date for the week ahead.
Pep Guardiola’s men pushed and probed, with Jack Grealish and Julian Alvarez also coming close, but could not find the leveller in London.
Walker is determined for the team to improve after the loss. He said:
“It’s disappointing obviously. We’ve come here to pick up three points and get a result at this stadium like we’ve not had before. We move on now, move onto the next game and try to go on a run that we know we can do.
“It’s difficult, when you are against five at the back and two holding, with three of them running in behind, it has to be about how much you go forward without conceding at the back, it’s almost cat and mouse.
“If a few chances go in, like the Riyad [Mahrez] one, then the momentum could have gone our way. We could have definitely done better creating chances, not being negative.
Typical City Are Back: The Manchester Blues Blow Chance To Close Gap on Gunners - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue
Pep Guardiola made several changes once again from the side that beat Arsenal in the FA Cup, but the misfiring side just couldn’t manage to hit the back of the goal. The blues were denied two, admittedly not very clear, penalties. It would have been harsh had either been given but even then, they are likely to have been missed. In fact, if the blues were still playing, it’s doubtful they would have scored.
In true typical City style, the blues gifted their hosts the opening goal. Rodri’s pace to Rico Lewis caught the youngster napping and Spurs nipped in. The ball falling to Kane to score, break Jimmy Greaves’ long-standing record as Spurs all-time record goalscorer and, in doing so, ensure that it gets mentioned each and every game until he retires.
It was a golden opportunity to close the gap on leaders Arsenal, who had lost 1-0 at Everton 24 hours earlier. That left City just five points behind the Gunners but, as history has shown time and again, that means absolutely nothing as the blues prefer to make things difficult for themselves.
However, on this occasion, it’s looking doubtful they’ll recover from it. No, we’re not being pessimistic, just realistic. There’s just something not right about the City team at the moment. Much has been made of Joao Cancelo’s move to Bayern Munich on transfer deadline day, with Bernardo Silva also rumoured to be looking for a way out. Clearly, something going on in the background is having a detrimental effect on the team.
Review and Player Ratings as Typical City rears its ugly head – Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City - Bradley Price - City Report
City started the game positively, and it looked like it may have actually been their time in this stadium as they made a dominant, controlled start while creating a few chances. A particularly positive action in the 13th minute very nearly led to a Grealish chance at the far post, but Emerson was there to deny the ball reaching him.
Not long after, the typical story City are used to at this stadium started to play out again as Rodri held onto the ball for far too long before attempting a pass to Lewis in midfield that was swiftly intercepted, leading to a Kane goal. 1-0 Spurs.
After the goal, City seemed to drop in level significantly, and the chances dried up for the remainder of the first half bar a couple of chances from range. Spurs had a major chance to double their lead with four consecutive attempts on goal but the City defenders were able to block and eventually clear the ball. Perhaps City’s closest chance to scoring a goal came just before the halftime whistle as Mahrez saw his attempt hit the crossbar, denying the potential equaliser.
Gary Neville insists something ‘isn’t right’ with Manchester City following Spurs defeat - Matthew Holt - Manchester Evening News
Despite City’s best attempts throughout the 90 minutes, Antonio Conte’s men hung on to claim a vital victory that leaves the current Premier League champions 5 points behind current league leaders Arsenal in second place.
Neville - speaking to Sky Sports during the contest - was quick to indicate how he felt something felt abnormal with City as of late, with influential midfielder Kevin De Bruyne forced to make an impact from the bench.
‘’Something isn’t right at City, it just doesn’t feel right at the moment,’’ Nevile began. ‘’Whatever that is. When you watch Manchester City as often as we have, obviously Pep Guardiola knows his players better than anybody, [Bernando] Silva one of them.
‘’But you can’t help but think that Walker, Dias, Laporte, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan and De Bruyne, that seven that I have just named with any three up front. They are just not the same at the back, they don’t look the same at the back and they are not as good in midfield without those three players that I have just named.’’
‘It’s so exhausting’ - Guardiola offers up bizarre excuse for Man City’s defeat to Tottenham - Ritabrata Banerjee - Goal.com
WHAT HAPPENED? Harry Kane’s 15th-minute strike meant Tottenham beat Manchester City 1-0 in a Premier League clash on Sunday. But Guardiola did not blame his team for the defeat and instead came up with an unusual excuse - suggesting his players had been affected by the commute to north London.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters Guardiola said: “We are an attractive team. Our teams are always good, we try to go forward and be generous for our fans. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but I cannot complain much. When you win four Premier Leagues in five years we cannot complain much about what we have done and the way we have done it.
“We try to continue to do it and improve the things that will help us in the future. But we go back to Manchester. Coming to London is like going to, I don’t know, northern Europe. It is 4 hours 20 minutes, 4 hours and a half to get to a hotel. It’s so exhausting to come to London, I’m sorry. We need to come back to Manchester and prepare for the game against Aston Villa.”
Record-breaker Harry Kane propels 10-man Tottenham to victory over Man City - Ben Knapton - Sports Mole
With 15 minutes on the clock, Rodri’s ball to Rico Lewis just outside the Man City penalty box was picked off by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who advanced into the box before laying the ball off to Kane.
The England captain coolly picked out the bottom corner to leave the late Greaves in his wake and bring up goal number 267 for Tottenham, while also racking up his 200th in the Premier League.
Joining Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260) in that exclusive club, Kane also achieved the double century in the quickest time, taking 304 games after Shearer and Rooney hit the landmark in 306 and 462 matches respectively.
RESULT: Ten-man Tottenham Hotspur edge past Manchester City 1-0 thanks to Harry Kane's record-breaking goal. More: https://t.co/GOd1fnKIgJ— Sports Mole (@SportsMole) February 5, 2023
And finally... The women did their bit on Saturday against the Foxes.
Shaw bagged her 10th WSL goal, her 17th in all competitions – and her fifth goal in three games – as she produced an angled header on 61 minutes from a Laura Coombs cross from the right to beat the in-form Foxes goalkeeper Janina Leitzig.
Leitzig had no chance on 74 minutes as Kelly fired home a wonder strike, ensuring back-to-back goals from the Lionesses ace.
The victory moved us third in the WSL – for one day at least – as we moved ahead of Arsenal and behind Chelsea in second and Man Utd on top.
There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest, and come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.