Towering midfield proved too powerful for City
OF Tottenham’s front six players in the team that bullied Manchester City on Sunday, five were six foot plus. Victor Wanyama and Dele Alli are 6ft 2, Mo Sissoko is 6ft 1, Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son are 6ft. Only Christian Eriksen dipped under the mark.
Of Manchester City’s front six only the midfielder Fernando reaches the 6ft mark. The other five, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Raheem Sterling, are wonderful, fleet-footed footballers but they are little men; they do not intimidate opponents physically.
The difference in size and bulk was as noticeable as the speed with which the Tottenham players pressed the City defence and midfield, forcing them to panic and pass into tight areas or kick long or out to touch at White Hart Lane.
This is not to denigrate City. They will pick a path through other teams who are less mobile, less physical or less quick with the press. But as Guardiola admitted, they were outplayed on Sunday.
“We have some strong basics which help us to get confident in this type of game and I think we were rewarded because we worked so hard,” the Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said afterwards.
Spurs have now conceded just three goals in seven games – another sign of their “thou shalt not pass” attitude.
“Yes, we are strong at the back,” Lloris added. “It does not mean we are a defensive team. We try a lot and we take a lot of risks and we try to play as high as possible on the pitch. We try to put pressure on teams.”
It worked on Sunday in more ways than one. – The Independent