Like the Villa game we started off bad, but unlike the Villa game – where we improved in the second half – we were outplayed by the City team. Granted we had spells were we got on top, but overall we were second best to the Manchester club.
The day started for me at 10 am (which was when I left home for my 3 ½ hr. drive). Actually, I was up earlier than that to go to the gym, then home and then I left.
The trip was reasonably good, but plenty of road works and I finally got to the City ground at 2.17 pm.
One thing I will say about the City ground, it has brilliant car parking. Accessible to park and only £10. The only other club where that has excellent car parking – at the moment – is Brighton. The rest is every car for itself. My only recommendation is to leave early (very early). It is better to twiddle your thumbs than panic for parking. Even the City ground car park is best to get there early.
Because of my leg (arthritis), I have to start using a walking stick. That is why it is vital to get parking near the stadium. Unfortunately, they don’t regard arthritis as a unique disability, even though it is, especially to those that suffer (you don’t get a blue badge for it).
Walking to the ground is only 10 minutes or so, got my programme (which is now an odd shape, even though still A4 it opens up sideways, very strange).
Had a walk around, chatted and then finally went in at 4 pm. Got something to eat and then to my seat (I was right at the back). Strangely most sat, which is unusual for away supporters. So I could sit – most of the time – and watch the football. I also didn’t see anybody from my group, or those I knew. Plenty of familiar faces though, from by away trips. The trouble with City’s away area is that it is three tiers they can’t access each other.
After all the pomp and ceremony it was all guns blaring… actually, it was all guns blaring for City while we struggled.
Raheem Sterling scored his fourth goal of the season within 20 minutes, our players trudged back to the centre circle, looking at each other and wondering how they were going to stop the relentless onslaught of attack after attack. In the opening 15 minutes, City had 68.6% of possession and refusing to let us into the game at all. Suddenly up pops Erik Lamela equalising against the run of play with his first shot on target, three minutes after Sterling had scored. He had one chance, and he took it. But it wasn’t long before they were ahead again (before the break).
Most of the supporters wondered how we were going to get out of this as City were playing exceedingly well, but then again they were triple champions. I thought differently or hoped differently. I expected Pochettino to give his players a good talking to and come out differently… they sort of half-listened.
Watching our players perform before kick-off (warming up) and were carrying out shooting practice, Lamela came out on top with a screamer in the top left corner. But once the match started for real, we struggled to test Ederson.
Only two more shots came in the second half from us. One was from Harry Kane from the halfway line and was well wide, and just one was on target – Lucas Moura’s header just 19 seconds after he replaced Harry Winks. We only managed three crosses from open play too and didn’t win a single corner in the first half.
The most exciting part for Tottenham Hotspur supporters was Gabriel Jesus’ goal, then not a goal. VAR stepped up to the mark and pulled us out of the fire (how many more times will it help us?). This is the second time VAR came to our rescue and it contributed to us getting to the final of the Champions League. Will VAR continue to be our friend? We shouldn’t be relying on VAR, we need to buck our ideas up and get our act together. We are lucky we will only play City twice in the season (putting cup possibilities to one side), and one of these games ended up as a draw, the second will be decided in February.
The goal that was disallowed was because the ball had brushed Aymeric Laporte’s arm in the build-up to the goal. As simple as that.
Can we challenge for the league? Yes, but we have to play better. Our problem is when we face the “little club,” that is when we have problems. The likes of Watford, Bournemouth, Burnley, Southampton, etc., is where we have issues. Master that and we can seriously challenge for the title, if not win it.
We got our draw, now we face Newcastle, who haven’t yet won this season. Nevertheless, that won’t be a pushover.
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