Five Things We Learnt From Man City vs Spurs
The defending champions faced Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening and saw VAR deny them a last-gasp winner as they drew 2-2 in a possessionally one-sided game at the Etihad Stadium to register their first lost points in 15 premier league games. Here are five things we learnt from the pick of the weekend’s English Premier League clashes.
Hugo Lloris Showing Signs of Aging
The World Cup winner’s performances have become increasingly suspect in recent years. The 32-year old’s reflexes have betrayed him of late, but none more than on Saturday as he failed to get a hand on shots that a younger Lloris surely would otherwise have saved. He stood stagnant as Sterling headed across him from the most acute angle, when a simple outstretched hand could have, at least, deflected it away from goal. Sergio Aguero’s tap in from De Bruyne's cross was more complicated, but again, the ball was well within range for him to get at least a touch to it.
Sterling is Unstoppable
The diminutive forward has continued his rich vein of form under Pep Guardiola in the new season. The Catalonia-born manager has had his fair share of players he has groomed into either complete footballers or serial superstars. Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba can be said to fall into the complete player category, while it can be argued that he unleashed a beast in Lionel Messi when he deployed the Barcelona ace as a false 9. With Sterling however, Pep has outdone himself. A previously timid, unsure, and unconvincing yet promising youngster, Sterling has managed to churn out beastly performances week in and out for the Sky Blues and Saturday was no exception. It is well known that the Jamaican-born forward is most dangerous when coming in on the far post and yet he still managed to latch onto a sumptuous Kevin De Bruyne cross to head past Hugo Lloris. He now leads the goal scoring charts alongside Teemu Pukki of Norwich City with four in only two matches.
Lucas Should Be First Time Starter
What more must Lucas Moura do to stake his claim as a legit first team starter for Mauricio Pochettino’s side? The Brazilian speedster has grown a knack for scoring important goals for Spurs as once again he scored an crucial goal with his first touch off the bench. The 27-year old has been overlooked for the starting XI by the Argentine manager, despite consistent goalscoring performances for Spurs, but should surely start more after Saturday’s contribution.
Kevin De Bruyne Back To His Imperious Best
The Belgium international is back to full fitness and has slotted seamlessly back in Guardiola’s squad this season. After an emphatic 2017/18 season where he scored 8 and assisted a whopping 16 goals to help City on a record breaking rampage, clinching the title at an unprecedented 100 points in the Premier League era, De Bruyne struggled with injuries last season, reducing him to only 20 appearances. For older football fans, De Bruyne brings back vivid memories of a certain genius Argentine midfielder, Juan Roman Requilme. With unbelievable vision and a magical passing ability to match. He assisted both City’s goals on Saturday and now has 3 assists in two matches.
VAR Still Inspiring Heated Debates
“Déjà vu!” is how Pep summed up VAR’s late intervention in the game that saw them denied a last gasp winner from Gabriel Jesus. After they suffered from a similar ruling against the same team in last season’s Champions League semifinal, they incurred the same ruling after Video Assistant Referee adjudged the ball to have touched a Aymeric Laporte’s arm before Jesus brilliantly slotted it into the net. The goal was disallowed to keep the score at 2-2, a grave disappointment for all concerned in the blue half of Manchester.