Spurs' attack fails squad in 2-0 loss to Manchester City

Despite numerous chances, Spurs' offensive efforts failed in last Tuesday's 2-0 loss to Manchester City. The home loss means there will be no Champions League football for Tottenham next season.
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Leading up to last Tuesday's match at home against Manchester City, it was frustrating to check Spurs related X accounts, to say the very least.

It seemed as though the majority of The Lilywhite fanbase was rooting for a Spurs loss to the Cityzens, which would allow Pep Guardiola's side to be in pole position for yet another Premier League title over Tottenham's hated arch-rival, Arsenal.

As disappointing as a Spurs loss would be, most of the fans would be happy to see the Gunners once again fail to capture the league trophy.

Well, it's safe to say that many Spurs supporters went home happy on Tuesday evening, as Manchester City won 2-0 over the home side.

Goals from star striker Erling Haaland in the 51st and 91st (via penalty) minute led the way for the visitors, as The Lilywhites failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities at goal en route to another goalless performance from Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou's side.

Big Ange experimented with a slightly different lineup on Tuesday, running with a 4-3-1-2 formation that put young midfielder Pape Matar Sarr in an advanced attacking midfield role, linking him with a pair of strikers in captain Son Heung-min and Brennan Johnson. Behind Sarr were fellow midfielders James Maddison (who usually fills the role of the attacking midfielder in Postecoglou's lineups), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur.

Going against a usually excellent Man City attack, you'd think inserting Giovani Lo Celso into the starting XI would have given The Lilywhites a better look, especially after losing midfielder Yves Bissouma for the rest of the season due to injury following Tottenham's 2-1 win over Burnley.

However, the Argentinian didn't receive an appearance until the 85th minute, when the game was still close at 1-0. Fellow attacker Dejan Kulusevski came on in the 55th minute for Bentancur, and really didn't influence the outcome of the match.

Spurs led City in almost every major statistical category, including shots (ten to eight), chances created (eight to five), corner kicks (seven to four) and possession (53.4 to 46.6 percent) (FOTMOB). However, shots on target were even at five a piece, and City made two of theirs count.

Tottenham simply didn't hit any of their shots. The home team also committed 14 fouls, one leading to Haaland's late penalty that all but sealed the game for the visitors (FOTMOB).

Post-game, Postecoglou commented on the state of his team, saying, "I think the last 48 hours have revealed the foundations are fairly fragile. Outside the club, inside the club, everywhere. It has been an interesting exercise. It's just my observations... I probably misread the situation as to what I think is important and the endeavor to become a winning team, but that's okay. That's why I'm here."

That's why Big Ange is here indeed. We know that he is held in high esteem by the club hierarchy, the majority of his players, as well as a lot of his fellow managers.

Guardiola even complimented the Aussie gaffer, stating, "They play with a lot of pride and intensity and it's so difficult to play against them. Spurs will in the future be unbelievable if they stick with the manager."

Based on how the team has performed this season, Postecoglou has undoubtedly earned the right to continue remaking the squad in his image.

Additions such as Maddison, Johnson, Micky Van de Ven and goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario have all been excellent across varying points of the season, and holdovers like Sarr, Son and defender Cristian Romero have played superbly for the majority of the season as well.

Perhaps in the upcoming transfer window, Spurs can add to their success in the transfer market and head into Ange's second season at the helm with even higher aspirations.