21 Apr No more VAR, no problem! Man City pass roughest remaining test to place pressure back on Liverpool
Pep Guardiola’s guys took a huge step towards the Premier League name due to Phil Foden’s target – and a refused punishment appeal from Tottenham
Nothing will compensate for going out of their Champions League quarter-finals in the passing in the way Manchester City suffered on Wednesday night against Tottenham, however that was a welcome bounce-back.
Spurs’s team selection very much suggested their priority this week put in Europe, together with five changes created by Mauricio Pochettino to get Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off in the Etihad. There was a hint in the existence of four central defenders that Spurs meant to duck and cover.
The first breakthrough by Phil Foden — his first goal from the Premier League — left unsuccessful the Spurs plan but it was far more stressed thereafter than City could have desired.
Supporters were edgy — given what occurred on Wednesday — and they didn’t desire their team to endure a similar fate. Even though City mostly bossing the game, there was still mainly a feeling of foreboding.
Liverpool visit Cardiff City on Sunday in search of 3 points — that would place them top of their league — and also City couldn’t countenance Spurs finish their curiosity in both highest-priority contests in the space of 3 times.
Raheem Sterling must have left it stable near the conclusion of this second half, but he had been repelled from the leg of Paulo Gazzaniga. That did not help the nerves.
In the other end there have been doubts too. In the opening trades — if a bad John Stones pass attracted the first opportunity for Son Heung-min — and all around, Spurs were given opportunity after opportunity.
Had Son demonstrated the exact same sort of composure he’d on Wednesday in scoring two goals, then City could have been back .
Town were perhaps lucky to escape with no concession of a punishment also, when Kyle Walker’s hand intercepted a Dele Alli knockdown. There was not any VAR that moment, however, to intervene, since it had dramatically in both sides’ Champions League battle in midweek.
Spurs were discovering success in the point with all the diagonal ball from defence. Players such as Dele, Son and Lucas Moura excel on the rest. There were a few fantastic cubes, adequate saves and incorrect finishing to thank you for the blank sheet in the long run.
You will find just blue skies overhead in the Etihad however, Guardiola’s mood might well have been obscured from the reduction — again of Kevin De Bruyne.
He jarred his knee in trying to shoot at the first half. He was disconsolate in departing the area and may have played the previous match of a hugely frustrating year.
His form from the match on Wednesday hinted in a sharpness being inserted to the City assault at an essential juncture of the year. He gave three aids on the evening and was active here also. City might console themselves from the fact they’ve thrived and lived for much of the year .
This really isn’t the kind of game they will put in a museum as standard of this Guardiola style. It was gritty, hard-fought and stressed. City had difficulties in the ends of the area and tanks have to have been half-empty contemplating the exertions they place in midweek.
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However they got on the line along with the name shimmers in the space. They’ll rest up and concentrate on Manchester United at the derby this coming Wednesday.
City go there secure in the knowledge that so long as they keep winning matches, there’s nothing Liverpool can do in order to prevent their march.
That is — arguably the hardest game of this run-in ticked off. It was not pretty but it was fairly powerful.