Our trip to the Etihad on Saturday promised so much with such contrasting recent form of these two sides, City struggling following a heavy defeat at Goodison a week earlier, Tottenham flying and hoping for their seventh consecutive league victory. As it turned out City with home advantage took the game to the away team from the off and were by far the more dangerous of the two sides.
Many felt relieved that Tottenham managed to hold out for a goalless first half as Pochetino was forced to switch to four at the back midway through the first half. At halftime he made a substitution in an attempt to turn the tide and take some control of the game by withdrawing Kevin Wimmer and bringing on Son. Unfortunately very soon after the break not one but two uncharacteristic Hugo Lloris mistakes gifted City a two goal lead before our offence clicked into gear and scored two tremendous goals.
By now the entire football world knows of the controversy surrounding Kyle Walkers push on Sterling that should of course resulted in a penalty and an opportunity for city to extend their lead. Some seem convinced that Sterling was offside in the lead up to the incident though he was in all honesty probably played onside by Danny Rose, however there can be no certainty that City would have scored from the spot.
There were of course other controversial incidents which have conveniently been overlooked, the first City goal converted by Sane was clearly handled and as it involved gaining a goalscoring opportunity perhaps should have been penalised. How many times do we see free kicks given outside the box when a ball is driven against a hand or arm, more often than not. For the second City goal Wanyama might have easily been awarded a free kick that allowed the move to develop. Finally some intent on suggesting that Harry Kane was offside when making the pass for the equaliser, close but not so.
The only things that we can reasonably take from what was one of the teams worst performances of the season, or maybe one of City’s best, was the comeback and the sheer quality of the goals. It is also worth noting that but for all City’s dominance both their goals came from the most unlikely source, two errors from Hugo, without which City might easily have lost all three points.
Toby came off, a precautionary measure we are told, and with a decent gap before our next league fixture and a home FA Cup tie before then there should be little cause for concern. The teams spirit is undaunted and though Chelsea and Arsenal took their chance capitalise. Tottenham still have a fantastic chance of finishing the season with a great points total, one that should comfortably exceed their best in Premier League history as only four of our remaining fixtures away from the Lane are against teams in the top fourteen of the division.
So let’s look at this result and performance as a blip, we shall miss Jan Vertonghen but will cope, we might have to deal with other injury problems, who knows? This group of players have shown that they have the fight and will to overcome problems, despite what some might like to have us believe we do have some decent depth to the squad and finally all those that questioned whether Pochetino was decisive enough or had a plan B well those ideas have been firmly put to bed.