10 Apr Tottenham 1-0 Man Metropolis: Son punishes Sergio Aguero after pricey penalty miss
Had the Argentine transformed his early penalty there can be few questions on his supervisor’s alternatives however Heung-Min Son’s aim has modified that
This shall be a type of Champions League nights when Pep Guardiola’s each name is questioned, and whereas lots of his pre-match alternatives have been damage enforced, he’ll now should give you some solutions if Manchester Metropolis are to achieve the Champions League semi-finals.
That’s as a result of Tottenham, backed by a ferocious crowd of their new stadium, battled lengthy sufficient and exhausting sufficient to earn a slim 1-Zero victory, courtesy of Heung-Min Son’s late strike.
Guardiola is rarely far-off from questions on his strategy in huge video games. After all, when his unorthodox line-ups are profitable, it’s quickly forgotten that he had combined issues up within the first place.
And it will be silly to be too important of the Catalan at this juncture, given what he has achieved with this Metropolis aspect for the reason that begin of final season, to not point out the truth that this may have all been completely different had Sergio Aguero transformed an early penalty.
Within the occasion the Argentine’s effort was saved by Hugo Lloris, and on such high quality margins huge video games, huge ties, are determined.
Metropolis weren’t their standard attacking selves however they by no means got down to be. Guardiola revered Spurs and maybe that shall be scrutinised, too, however it was clear that he didn’t need his team to be too open, which has been his undoing in European competitors at each Bayern Munich and Metropolis. And when he has arrange like that and been defeated, he has been reminded of his errors in a short time.
With Bernardo Silva struggling a slight muscle damage, Guardiola plumped for Riyad Mahrez, who has hardly set the world alight since his transfer from Leicester final summer time.
And with Benjamin Mendy out of the squad regardless of beginning at Wembley on Saturday, Guardiola determined to not transfer Aymeric Laporte to left-back, the place he has had combined success, and as an alternative selected Fabian Delph, who many suspected had performed his final sport for the membership after some rash errors in his current outings.
Mahrez was clearly despatched out with the temporary to play from deep and observe again, which presumably Leroy Sane was not trusted to do to related impact.
Ilkay Gundogan began as an alternative of Kevin De Bruyne, who has additionally been preventing health issues, and his deep position alongside Fernandinho additionally ensured this may be a decent sport.
And had Aguero scored his penalty, Metropolis could nicely have received it. The striker has bought fortunate with a few current efforts, particularly when he hit the publish at Swansea however the rebound went in off the goalkeeper, and on the Carabao Cup closing at Wembley when the villain Kepa jumped over his bobbly strike.
However even with each of these he aimed low into the nook, as he often does. Right here, for no matter purpose he went increased, into “good peak for a goalkeeper” territory. Lloris palmed the ball away and the house followers roared. Aguero has now missed extra penalties than anybody within the Champions League since his debut within the competitors in 2008-09.
It was an in depth sport after that, filled with aerial duels and sturdy tackles. A type of may show essential, in actual fact. Harry Kane, who had battled with Metropolis’s centre-backs in addition to anyone, went in sturdy and late on Delph, and ended up rolling his ankle. That would nicely maintain him out of the second leg and that may little doubt be an enormous enhance for Metropolis.
However the truth is that Spurs scored after Kane went off, and so they have usually coped nicely with out him this season. Nonetheless, Metropolis will want all of the boosts they will get. A goalless draw would have been precarious sufficient, given a rating draw would ship Spurs via, however a 1-Zero deficit leaves no room for error.
That deficit got here courtesy of Son, who ran in behind Delph and, by maintaining the ball in play, instantly bought the higher hand on the jumpy transformed left-back. The South Korean made a transfer again inside, feinted to idiot Delph, after which used the additional area to fireside off a low shot that Ederson, who had earlier broken his hip in a heavy fall, allowed to undergo him.
A squad is simply as sturdy as its weakest members and whereas Metropolis’s are hardly competitors winners, Delph at left-back might be as ‘weak’ as Metropolis get. He didn’t commit a heinous error, and in equity any of Metropolis’s different left-backs are greater than able to being caught out within the area behind them, however he didn’t cowl himself in glory both.
Moments like that, and naturally the penalty, are what Guardiola retains going again to when he discusses the distinction between success and failure on this competitors.
Metropolis had one other 10 minutes to nick an away aim after that however Guardiola left it peculiarly late to deliver on Sane and, particularly, De Bruyne.
David Silva was not as exact on the ball as he’s at his greatest and De Bruyne had appeared an apparent substitute as early as half-time, however he and Sane have been solely launched within the 89th minute. It was as if Guardiola had out of the blue realised they have been on his bench.
Article continues beneath
In the long run they might not make a telling impression, their contributions within the closing third as wayward as their team-mates’. Spurs continued to battle brilliantly and held on to what might be a valuable benefit.
Metropolis are not at all out of this, and you’d at all times again them to win on the Etihad Stadium, irrespective of who the opponent is.
Guardiola has every week to give you the solutions.