Saturday 21st January 2017

Manchester City 2 Spurs 2

In a rip-roaring game, we withstood heavy City pressure in the first half with Hugo Lloris pulling off a string of saves, only to find ourselves 2-0 down within eight minutes of the start of the second half.

The home side began flexing their muscles early on and shortly after Mauricio’s former Espanyol team-mate Pablo Zabaleta got through in the box and was thwarted by Alderweireld, Sergio Aguero flashed a shot inches over the bar from the edge of the area. Our defenders were stationed quite high up the pitch and the home side were looking to play through them with rapid runners in behind, with Alderweireld once again in the way with a back-heeled interception following a dangerous City free-kick.

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Goalkeeper Lloris was seeing a lot of the ball throughout the first half and on 20 minutes pulled off a fantastic save, stretching low down to his left to claw David Silva’s drive behind for a corner. From the resulting kick, Zabaleta angled a low shot just beyond the far post as City kept the pressure on. Dier shifted forward into midfield as we tried to match the hosts centrally but after De Bruyne’s low shot went wide and Sane headed off target, Lloris pounced on Aguero’s 37th-minute header and then made a good save at his near post from the Argentine within 60 seconds. Mousa Dembele was a leading light for us as we forced our way forward on occasion, but the half-time whistle came as something of a relief.

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We made a change at the break with attacker Son replacing Wimmer as Dier partnered Alderweireld at centre-half but four minutes into the second period we fell behind as De Bruyne launched the ball forward, Lloris headed it straight at Sane as he raced out to the edge of his area and the City forward was left with a simple tap-in.

Lloris once again cut a frustrated figure after City’s second goal on 53 minutes. Raheem Sterling sent a low ball in from the right which the keeper attempted to pounce on in his goalmouth but it squirmed free and De Bruyne steamed in to sweep away from the Frenchman’s grasp and into the net.

We showed real grit and character to recover from the second goal and pulled one back five minutes later with our first attempt on target. Kane stayed strong to feed Walker on the right and he whipped in a delicious cross that Dele rose to meet with a header at the far post for his 11th league goal of the season and his eighth in the last six games. Danny Rose produced a superbly-timed challenge at the other end moments later to deny Sterling in the box, but we were dealt a further blow when Alderweireld limped off, with Wanyama dropping in to deputise at centre-half and Harry Winks introduced into the midfield.

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The home side had a shout for a penalty waved away on 76 minutes when Sterling went through on goal, was put under pressure by Walker and ended up shooting straight at Lloris, but within 60 seconds we were level. Eriksen found a pocket of space on the right, arrowed the ball in to Kane who flicked it into the path of Son with one deft touch and the South Korean international produced an accurate low finish into the far corner.

Gabriel Jesus was thrown into the fray as City chased a late winner and immediately produced a dangerous cross before latching onto De Bruyne’s driven cross at the back post on the next attack and finding the net. The flag was up, however, and it did not count. A victory for us would have represented our best league winning sequence for 50 years but the solitary point we ended up with was still a valuable one.

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