Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City

No luck for Spurs, who were again dominated by City

1/29/14 in Soccer   |   ZacWassink   |   74 respect

Tottenham Hotspur attempting to earn even a single point against Manchester City on Wednesday was always set to be a difficult task. That not one of two controversial moments went Tottenham's way made it impossible.


That isn't to say that Spurs were in any way robbed. Rather, they were unlucky, as the hosts did well to hang with what is, for my money, the best team in the Premier League and do so for over half of the match. Justice was, depending on your view of the world, either done or nonexistent at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, and City ultimately rolled to a 5-1 victory that has the side atop the Premier League table.


Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City: First off...


City were fired up and ready to play from the opening kick. Sergio Aguero nearly created his own goal in the opening minutes of play when he, from a standing position, accelerated and blew by Vlad Chiriches as if the Tottenham defender was standing still before firing a rocket strike that blasted off of the far post.


Aguero wasn't done there. He sailed two other attempts over the target before eventually opening the scoring at the quarter-hour mark. David Silva unleashed Aguero into the right portion of the penalty area, and Aguero beat Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to the ball before tucking it past the France No. 1 and into the far corner of the goal. It was as cool a finish as you'll see all season, a world class tap-in that was made to look far easier than it was to achieve.


Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City: And then it happened


Spurs deserve credit for not only not hanging their heads, but for showing real fire and passion in fighting for an equalizer. They appeared to draw level nine minutes before the break when captain Michael Dawson smashed home a Christian Eriksen free kick that had been delivered from just outside the left portion of the penalty area. The referee's assistant had his flag raised even before Dawson touched the ball, and the goal was disallowed.


I've seen conflicting images that show Dawson onside/offside as Eriksen's foot makes contact with the ball. Emmanuel Adebayor was, from the shots I've seen, clearly offside as the ball was struck by Eriksen, and one video replay I witnessed seemed to show Adebayor make slight contact with the ball via his head as it flew toward Dawson. That said, there is no way that the assistant referee could have possibly seen that with the naked eye in real time.


The score remained 1-0 in favor of City up through halftime, and all indications were that either side had the goods to each the result.


Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City: And then it happened


Spurs met their doom four minutes into the second half when left back Danny Rose slid in toward Edin Dzeko to win the ball while inside the Tottenham penalty area. Referee Andre Marriner made no call, but his assistant – yes, the same assistant who raised his flag on the Dawson no-goal – immediately signaled for a foul.


It appeared, at least it did to me, in real time that the assistant had gotten the incident spot on. Then came several slow-motion replays that showed Rose's foot first touch the ball. While player-to-player contact had been made, it was far from a harsh challenge, and I'm not convinced that a foul would have been called had the play occurred in the middle of the field.


Rose was, after some discussion on the pitch, sent off, Yaya Toure converted from the spot, Dzeko scored two minutes later, and City were three goals to the good.


Tottenham did manage to score the slightest of consolation goals, a rare set piece tally for Spurs, off the foot of Etienne Capoue. That was answered by City goals netted by Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany. The only good Spurs can take from the night is that they won't again see City until next season.


Even then, it might be too soon for Tottenham.


Tottenham 1-5 Manchester City: Overall


We'll never know if Tottenham would have managed a draw or even a surprising comeback victory over the current league leaders had the assistant not made a decision that undeniably changed the final 40 minutes of play. Whether he got the call right or not, something that will be discussed over and over again by fans and analysts, will forever be a matter of opinion.


What isn't opinion is that Spurs must dust themselves off, immediately put Wednesday evening in the past, and move on. They are away to Hull City this coming Saturday, and that will be no stroll in the park. Winning cures all, as they say, and Tottenham will badly need a positive result; both for morale, and to keep pace with the top-five sides in the table.

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