Tottenham 4 Man City 1: Three talking points as Harry Kane ends drought
Three talking points as Tottenham Hotspur are emphatic winners against Manchester City
Spurs need to show this level of performance against the top sides consistently
The best side won the game. In every aspect of the game and across all the positions, Tottenham were superior to Manchester City. After the disappointing performance against Arsenal in midweek, it was vital that the hosts put in a strong performance. After going behind to Kevin de Bruyne’s marginally offside goal, the home side rallied. They had their own slices of good luck – Eric Dier’s goal should have been ruled out for an earlier offside in the move and Harry Kane’s long-awaited goal appeared to be offside, too – but that shouldn’t count against Spurs. What must be most infuriating for the Tottenham fans is that they are so glorious inconsistent. In fact they have been awful so far this season but this could be the catalyst to the north London outfit turning round their poor start. Erik Lamela, often chastised as one of the most expensive flops of the Franco Baldini transfer policy, put in a great performance and was a constant threat to the visitors’s back four. Like the side as a whole, too many players are not performing on a regular basis. Confidence is an important commodity – both to individual players and the side collectively. A confident Spurs will be a match to any side in the division.
Man City’s attacking flamboyance must be teamed with defensive rigidity
Manuel Pellegrini has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking talent, spending over £100m on Raheem Sterling and De Bruyne during the summer transfer window. After taking the lead through De Bruyne, many would have expected the visitors to press on and get back to winning ways following defeats against Juventus and West Ham. It would appear that the Chilean has neglected an important aspect of his side’s balance – the attack can only be as good as the defence which protects the team. Pellegrini was unfortunate to lose Vincent Kompany to illness prior to the game and to have Joe Hart nursing a minor complaint too. Questions will be raised about the calibre of those who will back up the starting XI. Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis were unable to mirror the commanding performances of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Neither of the Argentineans were able to lead and to make that situation worse, Bacary Sagna and Aleksander Kolarov looked shaky at best. If City are to take the title back from west London, their second string will need to improve.
Offside or not offside – that is the question
Ever since the match between Liverpool and Bournemouth earlier this season, the new rules on offside have been under increased scrutiny. Three of the five goals scored at White Hart Lane were offside or marginally off. While De Bruyne’s first half strike and Kane’s first goal in the Spurs shirt were too close to call, the equaliser was clearly a yard or two offside. This could have changed the entire outcome of the result had the linesman made the right call. It is exasperating to think that in the 21st century, decisions as easy to resolve as these are still able to change the results of matches at the highest level. The introduction of goal-line technology has been an unequivocal success so why are the FA so slow to react on other contentious issues? The use of TMO has been a fantastic addition to the world of Rugby Union and it is high time that the Premier League followed suit. After all, they aren’t exactly strapped for cash to instigate such a change.