Manchester City’s players assessed what went wrong in their underwhelming display against Tottenham in 3-2 loss at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
Harry Kane , who would have been in blue shirt instead of white on Sunday produced a five-star display against the reigning top-flight champions by scoring twice and playing a crucial hand in the opener early on. The performance which was so good that the Premier League’s all-time top scorer, Alan Shearer, called it a masterclass in how to play as a centre-forward.
Tottenham came to the match with three defeats on a row against City’s side who have not lost any matches since October last year. But, only took Harry Kane masterclass to put an end to Manchester City’s incredible run.
Pep Guardiola’s side looked out of ideas throughout the contest, conceding within five minutes after some poor defending and struggled to contend with the counter-attacking threat posed by Antonio Conte’s side over the course of 90 minutes.
According to McCrath of Telegraph, the Manchester City players had a ‘frank discussion’ following their defeat to Tottenham at the weekend, where they attempted to analyse what went wrong for the hosts against Conte’s side.
It has been mentioned that that the conclusion reached by Guardiola’s men was that the ‘biggest problem’ for City lay in deciding whether to follow and get close to Harry Kane as he dropped deep in a number 10 role or maintain the defensive line when the visitors attacked.
Harry Kane who was counterattacking outlet for Spurs would drop into midfield to receive the ball, shield it, and pass it through City’s exposed defense for the next pass to Son or Kulusevski.
The first goal was a textbook example of this. Kane’s movement towards the ball pulled Man City defender Aymeric Laporte with him, and left the other City defender Ruben Dias in no-man’s land, leading to a simple goal for Kulusevski.
It was rinse and repeat for Spurs after that: Kane dropping deep, playing a teammate and leading to a chance
Kane ragged Manchester City throughout the contest, finding pockets of space in deeper areas of the pitch and playing the likes Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski through with his pinpoint passes as none of the Manchester City’s midfield trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri could find an answer throughout the match.