Spurs picked up three very important points against Manchester City on Sunday, February 5th, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs were unified in defense
Tottenham Hotspur looked unified in defense against the Citizens. It was similar to how Spurs defended during the second half of last season, with defenders Eric Dier and Ben Davies putting their bodies on the line to make crucial tackles and blocks. Emerson Royal put on arguably his best performance in a Tottenham shirt. Despite Cristian Romero being shown a second yellow card, Spurs could hold on.
Tottenham went through a rough period this season where they conceded the first goal in ten straight matches and also conceded 21 goals in ten matches, a number that Antonio Conte was not happy about as he is hailed as a defensive manager. But since then, Tottenham Hotspur has kept five clean sheets in their last seven matches, with many inspiring defensive performances.
No Conte, no problem for Tottenham Hotspur
As Antonio Conte was still recovering from his surgery in Italy, it was up to assistant manager Cristian Stellini to lead the squad to victory against Man City. It was a bit ironic that Tottenham put up one of their best, if not the best, performances of the season without Conte on the touchline against one of the best teams in football. Nonetheless, it was a performance that Conte must’ve been proud of, as Spurs defended well and created chances galore on the counter-attack.
This was the second time Stellini took charge of Spurs in an important match, as he coached a 2-1 win against Marseille back in November that saw the Lilywhites advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League and top their group.
Spurs were dominating without the ball
The 1-0 scoreline doesn’t do the match justice. Despite Manchester City having 64.8% possession and Tottenham Hotspur having only 35.2%, Spurs dominated the match without having much of the ball. When Tottenham did have the ball, several Spurs players stormed up the pitch and looked threatening on the counter-attack.
Spurs had trouble finding the final pass, but they still managed to create loads of chances. Even when City had the ball in the Tottenham half, they only tested Lloris once, when Riyad Mahrez saw his shot hit the bottom of the crossbar. Spurs will look to build on this win to generate momentum for the top-four race and their upcoming Champions League tie against AC Milan.