Five Things We Learned:spur 1-0 Man CityAugust 15, 2021
Pep Guardiola’s markedly weakened side was bested by Tottenham in their Premier League opener courtesy of a somewhat inevitable goal from Son Heung-min.
Man City headed into half-time level, but the Sky Blues were unable to emerge victorious in the fixture, and an early second-half goal proved to be City’s undoing, which makes it consecutive narrow losses for the Premier League champions.
Here are five things we learnt from City’s defeat in north London-City need a striker!
City’s need for a formidable striker was massively apparent throughout the loss to Spurs. Chance upon chance was wasted by Guardiola’s side, and the lack of a pure finisher was keenly felt as the Manchester outfit failed to find the back of the net against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Ferran Torres was positioned as a number nine throughout City’s defeat, and though Spaniard’s movement caused problems for the Spurs defence at times, the young forward ultimately struggled to affect proceedings.
With Gabriel Jesus seemingly out of favour with the Guardiola, the recruitment of an actual well-rounded striker such as say, Harry Kane, is absolutely necessary should City wish to embark upon a successful campaign. Poor start, but don’t dwell on it
Whilst City’s start to the season could surely have been better, it should not be a massive concern that they lost their first game, with several key first-team stars yet to return to full fitness.
Guardiola’s side started the game without several key players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Oleksandr Zinchenko, thus providing reasonable grounds for the Blues’ disappointing result.
Last term, City suffered a 5-2 defeat to Leicester City early in the season, however, following the loss, Guardiola’s side kicked on and eventually won the league by a staggering 12 points.
Despite the early loss to Tottenham, it is immensely possible that City will bounce back from said defeat, and could very feasibly retain their Premier League crown.
Do not panic!Fernandinho is as important as ever!
The Brazilian Benjamin Button produced a terrific performance in the first-half and was easily City’s best performer of the game.
In the first-half alone, the City skipper won seven duels, recovered the ball six times, made three tackles and won all of his aerial duels, suggesting that despite his advancing years, he still has a key role to play in the City side.
Even in the twilight of his trophy-laden career, Fernandinho appears to be as good as ever, and it is entirely plausible that the veteran midfielder will play a key part in any success that City achieve this season. Mendy and Aké are not up to scratch
It was apparent when the team sheet was released that within Manchester City’s backline, there were two obvious weaknesses in Benjamin Mendy and Nathan Aké, and it was entirely unsurprising that Tottenham’s only goal of the game came from the left side of City’s backline.
Guardiola’s side are evidently far superior defensively without Mendy and Ake in the side, and this begs the question of why they are handed a start in a Premier League fixture when Oleksandr Zinchenko, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte are all available?
It was wholly predictable that Spurs would score by targeting Mendy and Aké, and questions must be asked, why were they even involved unless it was an outright necessity?
Going forward, Zinchenko and one of Stones or Laporte are fully expected to return to City’s typical starting-XI. Grealish looked promising
Throughout the disappointing loss to Spurs, City’s latest recruit Jack Grealish was one of the few players who gave a strong account of their abilities, as the England international displayed the raw talent that led to the club opting to acquire the 25-year-old for a club-record fee.
When on the ball, the former Aston Villa captain always looked to make things happen for his new side – he carried the ball well, helped to create chances and won free-kicks in dangerous positions.
Grealish’s good showing was one of few positives on a dour day for the Champions League finalists, who have a jam-packed schedule in the coming weeks