Man City vs. Tottenham: Spurs lose comprehensively in Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: Kevin De Bruyne
NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 29: Kevin De Bruyne /

It looked like the lads devoured too much spicy chicken in Nashville last night, as Manchester City had their way with the Lilywhites in a disheartening 3-0 loss.

First Half

Mauricio Pochettino, as expected, made Tottenham’s intentions clear by his strong team selection.

Pochettino’s strong team selection had little bearing on the outcome, though.

Other than a few brief moments, Spurs were thoroughly outplayed in the first half, as City dominated possession and out-chanced the North London side by a wide margin.

Kieran Trippier started well, delivering two dangerous pinpoint crosses in short succession, one of which fell to Dele Alli at the back post. Spurs, within two minutes, caught Kyle Walker napping.

Ederson charged down Alli’s shot, City’s new keeper off his line like a rocket.

Trippier, and Tottenham as a collective, had a torrid time thereafter. Trippier was careless in possession and was arguably at fault for City’s opening goal. City’s free kick deflected off of Christian Eriksen’s head and fell favourably for John Stones, who managed to find space in the belly of Spurs’ defence. Trippier was arguably at fault for allowing Stones to get goal side and the City center back made no mistake.

The 10th-minute opener was a sign of things to come. City could have been two or three up within 15 minutes, as Mousa Dembele was caught in possession minutes after City took the lead. Eric Dier then added to Spurs’ first-half misery, gifting Danilo with a sitter he somehow managed to sky over the bar.

Hugo Lloris was the busiest man on the pitch during the first stanza, the Frenchman responsible for keeping Spurs within reach. Lloris, for all of his heroics, was also careless with the ball at his feet, repeatedly knocking it into touch.

Christian Eriksen finally answered for Spurs in the 30th minute, the Dane making something from nothing on a long-range free kick. He pelted it from 30 meters out, forcing Ederson into a strong save.

Harry Kane almost equalized late in the half, Spurs’ talisman sent in alone courtesy of an Eriksen through ball. Kane knocked it over the bar as Ederson cut down the angle. Kane won’t be pleased with the miss. It’s better he miss now and not in a fortnight, though.

Spurs’ defence were breached again at the death, with Kevin De Bruyne breaking free on goal alongside Danilo. The Belgian international setup Danilo on a platter, but somehow the Brazilian made a mess of it.

Second Half

Spurs only made a single change at the break, Michel Vorm replacing Lloris in goal.

Sergio Aguero struck the post twice after the break, proceedings looking eerily similar to what transpired in the first half.

The evening didn’t improve for Tottenham, as Raheem Sterling was sent through alone in the 73rd minute. Ben Davies lost his mark, the shifty City winger able to cut inside to collect the breakaway pass. His awkward finish doubled City’s advantage.

Brahim Diaz stuck a dagger in Tottenham hearts after scoring City’s third at the death. The Lilwhites have now conceded eight goals in three International Champions Cup matches.

Georges-Kévin N’Koudou was out of sorts on City’s third. N’Koudou was offered another learning experience at the top level. They say you learn more from failure than success. Let’s hope that’s true for Tottenham’s inexperienced 22-year-old.

The 3-0 scoreline still flattered Spurs, who will use the poor result as a wakeup call in the lead up to matches that actually matter. Kane was a lonely figure up front for most of the match and Spurs weren’t able to dictate the play they way they’re used to.

Real Madrid lost 4-0 previously to City, so Pochettino won’t be hitting the panic button. In addition, it was merely a friendly, a one-off pre-season game to prepare players for what’s to come.

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However, there were some worrying signs. Wasteful in possession, Spurs were too slow coming out of the back. They also couldn’t match City’s pace and movement.

A signing or two in coming weeks may be just what the doctor ordered for the North London side.

Good thing it was a friendly because there were no real silver linings to speak of. Pochettino, along with Tottenham supporters, will be bitterly disappointed by the way the lads acquitted themselves in Nashville.