Defender Nathan Ake scored a late winner as he became City’s first goalscorer at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Ake pounced just two minutes from time to score the goal that sends City into the fifth round of the FA Cup, continuing their defence of the famous old trophy.
It was City’s 102 shot at the stadium that opened in 2019, and the first to find the back of the goal in five visits. The blues had lost all of their previous matches since the ground opened, and a dominant display by City looked like ending in a replay at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Ake ended the hoodoo, prodding in from close range to give City the victory they richly deserved. After a few moments of possession by the home side, the blues quickly moved up the gears and threatened the Spurs goal every time they came forward. But some good, often at times, desperate defending prevented the blues from opening the scoring earlier.
Oscar Bobb thought he’d given City the lead in the sixth minute, only to see the flag raised for offside. The keeper saved Phil Foden’s shot and it looked to be trickling towards the goal and the young Norwegian star wanted to make sure. Replays showed that a small portion of his left foot was just ahead of the defender, enough for VAR to cancel it out.
City still poured forward and their intricate passing made it difficult for Spurs to keep up. The blues were finding space on both wings, but were unable to find a way past the Spurs defence. Bobb had another opportunity just before half-time when his shot was blocked by more last-ditch defending.
That came after good build-up play from the blues, but saw Spurs bodies flying in front of any potential shot. Spurs offered little in response, and when they did get in behind the City defence, Ortega in the City goal showed himself as a cool customer. He dived to collect the ball before Richarlison could get anywhere near it and a ball over the top of the City defence saw the German keeper race out and calmly head the ball to a teammate. It’s the sort of composure in a keeper that manager Pep Guardiola has instilled in the side and type that has been missing from City’s play long before the Catalan boss took charge.
The blues continued in the same vein after the restart, limiting the opposition and creating more and more chances. Kevin de Bruyne and Jeremy Doku, who came on to such great effect in their last game at Newcastle, entered the fray and City pushed even further.
And it was the Talisman de Bruyne who missed a glorious chance to fire City ahead when Foden robbed the defence and played in the Belgian. However, de Bruyne saw his shot go agonisingly wide.
City were determined to get their first goal in North London and avoid a replay, and when it came, there was inevitably some controversy surrounding it.
De Bruyne’s inswinging corner was almost onto the head of Ruben Dias and the keeper flapped at the ball. It dropped to Ake, who was first to react and poke the ball home to send the 9,000 travelling supporters wild. As always, it went to VAR to check but the goal stood and City were in finally, after five matches and 101 shots on goal in five matches, in front.
City held the ball deep in the Spurs half for the remaining minutes as the travelling army performed a three-tier Poznan, celebrating victory.
Final Score: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester City