Steven Bergwijn made his first League start for Tottenham Hotspur in over a month and was central to Jose Mourinho’s game plan on both ends of the pitch throughout the match.
Steven Bergwijn was sent home from international duty two weeks ago with the Netherlands but looked healthy and active Saturday evening for Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester City. In his first start since coming off with a three-goal lead versus West Ham Steven Bergwijn was active and well deployed on both ends of the pitch. His efforts on both ends up the pitch over 72 minutes helped contribute to Spurs 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Bergwijn in the Attack for Spurs
Steven Bergwijn is known for his burst and power on the pitch, but today it was his positioning and precision that helped spur on the Tottenham attack. On the first goal we know Kane drew the two center-halves to create the space behind. In most instances that space does not really exist against Manchester City, because the speedy Kyle Walker can make up the gap.
On the goal Walker was held a bit wider and higher than Guardiola probably would have liked, because Bergwijn was pulling him towards the touchline. Just as City like to use Walker and Cancelo to pull the defenders wide and create space, Tottenham did that exact thing to the Sky Blues contributing to the first goal for Spurs.
On the goal that did not count, where Heung-Min Son fed Harry Kane for the tap-in; it was Steven Bergwijn leading the break and playing Son in. It was then as much Son’s unselfishness as Kane’s momentary lapse of awareness that kept the ball from scoring as Son had the angle to make it two, but clearly wanted to set up his teammate. Just an unlucky moment preventing an assist or hockey assist for Bergwijn.
Steven almost scored himself when he managed to receive a pass from Højbjerg in the box near 25 minutes. Bergwijn was ultimately muscled off the ball in what was termed a legal tackle by Rodri and the chance was gone.
Late on in the first half, Ndombele tried to play Bergwijn in over the top, but some alert defending got the ball headed back to Ederson before Steven could reach it. Then just before the half, Hugo Lloris claimed one of the 10 corners from City and quickly punted up to Bergwijn who earned Spurs a throw-in and spent some time until the break.
That over the top action at the end of the first half was a sign of things to come from Bergwijn in the second half. Mourinho moved the Dutchman inside to the #10 role that was previously occupied by Tanguy Ndombele. The intent here was to put more pace toward the top of the attack and give the City defense something else to think about.