After an electrifying clash on Wednesday night, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were facing each other again in what was a crucial Premier League encounter.
Despite losing 4-3 on the night in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal, Mauricio Pochettino’s men advanced to the semi-final of the competition thanks to an aggregate score of 4-4 and the away goals rule.
The Saturday’s Premier League tie was always going to be different.
City were visibly hurt after their departure from the prestigious European competition. The intensity of the first 15 minutes clearly showed that.
However, both teams had, and still have, a lot to fight for in their domestic competition and had to quickly forget about their performance on Wednesday.
Pochettino was forced to rotate the squad that qualified at the Etihad three days earlier with Paulo Gazzaniga coming in for Hugo Lloris, Juan Foyth starting at right-back and Eric Dier coming into the centre of midfield.
City’s Phil Foden gave the Citizens an early lead. The 18-year-old converted Sergio Aguero’s pass with a diving header after just six minutes.
The Lilywhites then created plenty of chances throughout the first-half without finding the net. The second-half was extremely tense, but real chances were hard to come by.
Pep Guardiola’s men took all three points at the Etihad and returned to the top of the table, while Spurs will have to wait until Sunday evening to see if they remain in the top four.
Speaking in the press conference after the victory, the Spanish manager predicted whether Tottenham will stay in the top four.
“Tottenham will finish in the top four with the games they have. It will happen,” Guardiola said (Football London).
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