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Media City: Press react to Spurs defeat

Media City: Press react to Spurs defeat
The first weekend in October heralded mixed fortunes for our City sides, as Pep Guardiola’s men fell to defeat at Tottenham, while the Women’s team secured a domestic double.

The journalists of the footballing world have been sharing their thoughts on the Blues’ displays. Here’s what they had to say…

Starting with the loss at White Hart Lane, Peter Smith wrote in a stats-based piece for Sky Sports: “Guardiola is famed for his intensive, high-pressing style, but Mauricio Pochettino's men gave the City boss a taste of his own medicine at White Hart Lane.

“Spurs were tireless. They covered 118.8km to City's 114.8km and outsprinted their visitors with 647 bursts to 609.

“That equated to City's players being rushed in possession, robbed high up the field and Spurs winning back the ball in dangerous areas.

“It's a method Pochettino has used to his advantage before against Guardiola. While at Espanyol, the Argentine enjoyed a famous victory at the Nou Camp by getting on the front foot against Barcelona.

“But it wasn't just with Spurs' running that they put the pressure on. They also adopted bold positioning at set-pieces.

“Manchester City are the joint-top scorers in the Premier League so a stubborn defensive display from the hosts was essential for victory.

“Spurs delivered just that, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris pulling off six saves in all, including key late blocks from Kelechi Iheanacho and Sergio Aguero.”

Writing for, Sam Lee observed: “It must be pointed out that Tottenham were excellent in their 2-0 victory. In fact, their excellence is central to the point.

“The Spurs players did not give City an inch. They knew their gameplan and executed it to perfection - working their socks off and passing with precision.

“Heung-Min Son continued his fine form, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen were majestic, and Vincent Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko shut down what has so often been a perfectly functioning City midfield.”

The Independent’s Matt Galward stated: “City stuck to Pep’s philosophy of playing the ball out from the back but the Tottenham energy was too much for them to do it comfortably.”

An article on Football365’s website reads: “For Pep Guardiola, a reality check. They were bullied by Tottenham in the opening half an hour, but defended appallingly.

“If Celtic on Wednesday offered evidence of their shortcomings in their own third of the pitch, Sunday saw those deficiencies exploited.

“However, we must be very careful not to bring out the ‘Pep in crisis’ talk that may surely follow in some quarters, for that would be foolish.

“City are still top of the league, and still possess enough attacking weapons to win this title race. The Premier League is not a competition in which teams can win every game at a canter; the quality of opponent and workload dictates otherwise. This was a backward step, but not a fall.”

Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph reflected: “The first chinks have appeared and the international break has arrived at a good time.

“It is a moment for Pep Guardiola to regroup after a faultless opening and reflect on how the intensity of the Premier League will provide the sort of week-to-week test of his philosophy that he has never previously experienced in Spain and Germany.

“He will find answers – and it has still been a decent start overall – but he must now be prepared for other clubs seeing what Tottenham and Celtic have done this week and playing with rather more adventure against his team.”

As mentioned, there was brighter news from the Academy Stadium as Man City Women secured a league and cup double - and there was added drama.

The Guardian explain: “Nick Cushing chose the dugout over the delivery suite and the manager saw Lucy Bronze score an extra-time winner for Manchester City Women in the Continental Tyres Cup final.

"Cushing’s wife Claire went into labour on Sunday morning and the Manchester City manager was with her initially, but he headed to the Academy Stadium for the match against Birmingham City Ladies before the birth of their third child.

"He was awaiting news from hospital and an added 30 minutes at work was perhaps not ideal as Manchester City made hard work of their 1-0 victory, seven days after they secured their first Women’s Super League title with a victory against Chelsea.

"The decisive moment came in the 104th minute when the Birmingham goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger came for Toni Duggan’s corner from the left but failed to gather.

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