It was in the 64th minute of Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Tottenham that Pep Guardiola showed how much he had been stung by his side’s three-game losing streak.
Tottenham host Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with Spurs aiming to hand City a fourth-straight defeat in all competitions.
Gabriel Jesus raced in behind an unsettled Spurs defence to drill home the opener on 22 minutes and Ilkay Gundogan slotted home the second from the penalty spot three minutes later as Hugo Lloris wiped out Raheem Sterling, although replays suggested the contact took place outside the area.
“We started to play after we conceded the second goal”. The Citizens can win the Premier League this weeked if they beat Tottenham and Manchester United loses to West Brom on Sunday. They needn’t have anxious, especially if Leroy Sane’s third minute volley had been a few centimetres to the right rather than clattering the post instead with Hugo Lloris little more than a spectator.
With Spurs on a six-game winning streak in the league and City having lost four in six in all comps, I think the Londoners can inflict some more pain on Pep Guardiola’s men and win this in what should be an entertaining encounter. A massive gap to the top, a massive three points and a massive opportunity.
But the Spurs manager would be justified in considering dropping Lloris for Tuesday’s league game at Brighton on the back of his latest unconvincing performance.
“In the last eight or nine games, we have lost one”. However, it was City who created, and indeed terribly missed, the opening chance of the half when Jesus dragged well wide of the target after racing clear on goal.
“Of course [the way Liverpool played] can work”, he told the London Evening Standard.
At the other end of the table, Crystal Palace and Huddersfield gave their respective Premier League survival hopes a big boost with important and dramatic victories as Southampton edged closer to the drop by throwing away a two-goal lead against Chelsea.
The contest is made more interesting by the furore surrounding Tottenham’s second goal at Stoke City last week.
Who do you think will come out on top in tonight’s clash?
And with Harry Kane leading the Spurs charge again, no wonder the sky blue section of Wembley was rather more edgy than those in it had expected to be.
Harry Winks and Danny Rose are doubts for Spurs, as the midfielder is in Qatar for treatment and the left-back has a minor calf complaint.
And Guardiola had further issues, with talismanic frontman, Sergio Aguero and defender, John Stones, both missing through injury, while Fernandinho began a two-game ban after accumulating ten yellow cards during the campaign.