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Dublin: 16°C Monday 28 September 2020


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Hello and welcome to our liveblog.

Man City face Spurs in what is undoubtedly the biggest Premier League game of the weekend.

City will be strong favourites to continue a remarkable winning league run — the last time they dropped points was against Newcastle back in January.

After today’s match, City have a run of games that they’d be expected to win on paper, against Bournemouth, Brighton, Norwich, Watford, Everton, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Southampton, before facing Liverpool, whereas the Reds have much tougher-looking opening fixtures.


So you would think if Pep Guardiola’s side are going to drop points early on, today would be the most likely occasion against a Tottenham side that memorably knocked them out of last season’s Champions League.

But if they over Spurs, we could potentially be looking at City storming into a sizeable lead at the top even before Christmas.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Man City (171)
Draw (103)
Tottenham (55)

Confirmation of today’s teams…

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Manchester City's Leroy Sane on the touchline during the Premier League match at The Etihad Stadium. Source: Martin Rickett

We’re under way…


The match has started pretty much expected.

City are dominating possession and controlling the game, while Tottenham are sitting deep and attempting to hit them on the counter attack.

Zinchenko picks out the run of Sterling, but the England international is ruled offside.

Moments later, Walker breaks down the right and crosses to Sterling, whose shot is deflected out for a corner.

The ball has been in the Tottenham final third 42% of the time, compared with 5% in the City final third.

That shows how dominant the hosts have been so far.

There are claims for a penalty, as Lamela appears to be all over Rodri as a corner is played in.

The officials ignore the home fans’ protests, and replays suggest Spurs were lucky to get away with it.

City players all paid tribute to the injured Sane before kick off, wearing a jersey with his name on it.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett

Tottenham are looking vulnerable down their right-hand side in particular, with Sissoko and Walker-Peters struggling to combat the threat of Zinchenko and Sterling.

Spurs are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment.

City are ahead and it’s more than they deserve.

It’s an absolutely stunning cross in from Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian picks out Sterling with an inch-perfect first-time ball, and the winger heads home from a tight angle.

Spurs have started slowly and left the England international completely unmarked for that goal.

Out of nothing, Tottenham are right back into this game.

NDombèlé picks out Lamela in between the lines. The Argentine international is afforded far too much space on the edge of the area and he curls home in clinical fashion in what is the first real sight at goal that Spurs have got.

Could we be set for another 4-3 thriller like last season?

Tottenham have been better of late.

The visitors have had 57% of the possession in the last 10 minutes, and are coming into this game, following a very lethargic start.

It’s that man again, De Bruyne, who is the orchestrator.

His low cross is turned in by Aguero, after the striker gets in ahead of Alderweireld at the near post.

Moments later, De Bruyne get another chance, but he slices it from the edge of the area.

That one Lamela moment aside, it’s been a fairly poor performance so far from Spurs.

They’ve defended poorly and have shown limited ambition.

De Bruyne produces another sumptuous low cross.

Gündoğan gets on the end of it, but his first-time shot goes just wide.

It’s not even half-time, and you already get the feeling De Bruyne has the man-of-the-match award wrapped up.

The Belgian international has been on another level to everyone else on the pitch.

Half-time, and if anything, the scoreline flatters Tottenham.

City have been dominant for much of the half, as Spurs scored the only real time they threatened.

The visitors’ stars, such as Eriksen and Kane, have been largely anonymous.

By contrast, City’s best attackers, Sterling, Aguero and in particular De Bruyne have all impressed.

You get the sense if they are to turn this game around, Tottenham need a change in system or personnel.

It would be no surprise to see Eriksen drop deeper to give them a bit more creativity in midfield, as Winks and NDombèlé have offered very little on the ball.

Another measure of City’s dominance.

The hosts have had 13 shots on goal, with five finding the target.

Meanwhile, Spurs scored with their only attempt.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores his side's second goal of the game. Source: Richard Sellers

De Bruyne drives forward but his shot is deflected out for a corner.

From the ensuing set piece, Zinchenko’s deflected shot from the edge of the area forces a good save from Lloris.

City continue to carry the greater threat.

Laporte goes down in the area and claims he should have a penalty, but replays reveal he dived.

Shortly thereafter, De Bruyne — who has been everywhere today — shoots a few inches wide from the edge of the area.

Sterling plays through Aguero, but he fires over on his weaker foot from a tight angle.

At the moment, another City goal feels inevitable.

As I type, Bernardo Silva latches on to Sterling’s deflected pass, but his finish is tame and too close to Lloris.

Spurs look all over the place and the system they’re playing is simply not working.



Wow! Moura has literally just replaced Winks and scores having been on the pitch for 19 seconds.

He comes on and heads home a corner with his first touch, leaping ahead of Walker.

City will wonder how they are drawing this game given how dominant they’ve been.

Spurs have had two shots on target and two goals.

Rodri’s driven shot from the edge of the area is tipped over from Lloris.

From the subsequent corner, Lloris fails to claim a deep cross and Silva’s hooked effort comes back off the crossbar.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Lucas Moura scores with his first touch, 19 seconds after coming on. Source: Richard Sellers

Man City make a change, as they search for a winner.

Gabriel Jesus is on for Aguero, who appears to express his frustration to Guardiola as he comes off.

De Bruyne makes a run down the City left, but Walker-Peters makes a good tackle to put it out for a corner.

Just over 20 minutes of normal time remain.

Gabriel Jesus gets a sight at goal just inside the box, but his shot is deflected over.

The pattern of this game has not changed much — City continue to have most of the play and look the bigger threat.

Silva crosses to Jesus, but the striker can’t properly control the ball under pressure from Alderweireld.

Spurs still have a fairly defensive midfield even without Winks.

Sissoko and NDombèlé are the two deep-lying players, with Eriksen shunted out to the right-hand side of the attack.

Lucas Moura shows good pace to beat Zinchenko down the Spurs right.

But Otamendi does well to get to the cross ahead of Kane.

City make another attacking change.

David Silva replaces Rodri.

De Bruyne’s deflected cross finds Jesus, who heads just wide.

City are continuing to knock on the door and you get the feeling there is at least one more goal in this game.

A final change for City.

Mahrez is on in place of Bernardo Silva, who has been quiet today by his high standards.

Zinchenko is currently down receiving treatment.

City will hope it isn’t too serious, as they’ve made all their substitutions.


Spurs make a change.

The goalscorer Lamela is replaced, and it’s a debut for Spurs’ Betis loan signing Lo Celso.

Sterling’s through pass goes straight out of play, much to the crowd’s frustration.

City are leading 29-3 in terms of shots on goal.

Spurs make a defensive change.

Skipp replaces Eriksen.

There will be four minutes of stoppage time.

City’s goal has been disallowed by VAR.

Jesus curled it home in the box from a corner, but it had been flicked on by the hand of Laporte.

City have another corner deep into stoppage time…


What a game that was. City somehow came away with only a point despite registering 30 shots compared with three for Tottenham — two of which were goals.

Pep Guardiola’s side thought they had won it in the end. There were ecstatic scenes at the Etihad, as Jesus curled the ball home.

Aguero and Guardiola embraced on the sideline, after their disagreement following the former’s substitution earlier.

But there were shades of last season’s Champions League second leg, as the goal was ruled out after City thought they had won it.

It was the correct decision by the letter of the law, as the corner came off Laporte’s hand in the build up.

Reflecting on the game, even before that decision, City will be wondering how they weren’t ahead. They dominated the match, wasting several opportunities, while Spurs scored with their only two clear-cut chances.

Given how little defending they had to do, the hosts defending poorly.

Meanwhile, Spurs were woeful on the ball for much of the match, but deserve credit for their perseverance and resilience in staying in the game.

It’s early in the campaign, but given the points tallies that were accrued last season, that game could actually be looked back upon as an important moment in the season.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus appeals to the match referee Michael Oliver after his goal is ruled out by VAR. Source: Martin Rickett

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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