Muscat Daily

Ake’s goal helps Man City edge Spurs; Chelsea held


FA Cup holders Manchester City left it late to book their place in the fifth round with Nathan Ake’s scrappy 88thminute effort clinching a 1-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Friday.

City had never won at Tottenham since they moved into their new stadium in 2019, nor even managed to score a goal, but Ake flicked in from close-range after home keeper Guglielmo Vicario flapped at a Kevin De Bruyne corner and the ball fell loose.

Tottenham could have few real complaints as they were second-best for long periods against Pep Guardiola’s side and barely forced Stefan Ortega into a save of note.

“Today we performed incredibly well. Everything pleased me, from minute one to 95 minute. We are trying to defend the title and coming here is difficult,” Guardiola said.

“We create a lot in every game and have courage with or without the ball so I’m really pleased.”

Three days after reaching the

League Cup final, eight-time FA Cup winners Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Aston Villa while it also ended 0-0 at Ashton Gate between secondtier Bristol City and Premier League Nottingham Forest.

There were goals at Sheffield Wednesday although no winner as they drew 1-1 with Coventry City. Manchester City’s record at Tottenham has been something of an anomaly considerin­g their success everywhere else.

They had lost their last four Premier League games there without scoring and also suffered a 1-0 defeat there in the Champions League semi-final of 2019 before going out in a thrilling second leg they won 4-3.

By the time the latest duel reached the dying minutes, efforts by Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne meant City had gone unrewarded for 101 efforts at goal at Tottenham’s grand new arena which on Friday welcomed 9,000 visiting City fans.

But when Vicario was unable to hold the ball in a crowded area under pressure from Ruben Dias, Ake pounced.

City had dominated the first half with Oscar Bobb having an effort ruled out early for offside while Tottenham, usually so attack-minded, were forced to defend desperatel­y.

The second half was more even until City upped the ante by sending on De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku with 25 minutes remaining. Silva was denied by Vicario and De Bruyne fired inches wide after a mistake by PierreEmil­e Hojbjerg.

Not even the arrival of playmaker James Maddison off the bench for his first appearance since sustaining an ankle injury in November could inspire the hosts who had just one shot on target.

Today we performed incredibly well. Everything pleased me PEP GUARDIOLA

 ?? ?? Nathan Ake scored the winner for Man City against Tottenham
Nathan Ake scored the winner for Man City against Tottenham

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