Matchday 16: Tottenham vs Manchester City.

After a long wait, our Lilywhites were back in action at the Hive. Tottenham was looking for revenge after defeat to Manchester City in the Conti Cup semi-finals as they continue their search for Champions League football. After last week’s draw to Reading, Tottenham was looking to bounce back by completing a double over Manchester City. Highlights of last week’s match against Reading can be seen below.

Video by Spurs TV.

Line ups.

Tottenham 4-3-3: Spencer in goal, Percival in at right-back, Bartrip and Zadorksy in the center of defence with Harrop in at left-back. The Tottenham midfield was made of Cho, Clemaron and. Summanen. The Tottenham front three was made of Neville, Simon, and Williams 

Manchester City 4-3-3: Roebuck in goal, Bronze in at right-back, Kennedy and Greenwood in the center of defence with Stokes in at left-back. The City midfield was made of Walsh, Stanway, and Weir. Raso, White, and Hemp made up the City front line.

First Half.

City started the game very high up to prevent Tottenham from controlling possession, but they soon gained control of the midfield and made things very uncomfortable for City. Tottenham almost found an opening in the 6th minute when Neville played Summanen through the middle with a clever ball, but Roebuck was quickly off her line to prevent the Finn from latching onto the pass. Tottenham came close again 2 minutes later when Harrop intercepted a City ball and found Williams with a pass but Williams rushed her shot and blasted over with a shot from distance. City almost punished Tottenham in the 10th minute when a Walsh ball caught Percival out of position Hemp reached the ball and cut inside before taking a shot but with many bodies back her effort was blocked before being gathered by Spencer. 

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Tottenham again tried to take advantage of City’s high line, in the 20th minute, a Greenwood ball was intercepted by Neville who found Percival with a pass before playing Cho through the middle, but Roebuck again was quick off her line to get the ball away to safety before the South Korean was able to latch onto the pass. City almost punished Tottenham in the 27th minute when Raso attacked down the left before cutting in through the middle to unleash a shot but Bartrip managed to block the Australian’s effort before Tottenham regained control of possession again. 

Tottenham made their first sub in the 32nd minute after Ayane replaced Simon due to a hand injury to the Australian. City struggled to break down a well organised Tottenham team and resorted to long balls. Tottenham almost got caught out in the 36th minute when a long Greenwood ball was intercepted by Percival but her header was fell short and Raso chased down the loose ball but Spencer was quickly off her line to get the ball away to safety. The game started to slow down in the last 5 minutes of the half as most of the play took place in the centre of midfield but Tottenham remained on top. 

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

The 4th official indicated a minimum of 3 minutes of added time. Tottenham continued to dominate possession and pushed forward in search of a goal before the end of the half. Tottenham came close again in the 46th minute when a Neville cross was headed away by Bronze but only as far as Ayane who unleashed a shot from a tight angle but only managed to find the side netting. City countered Tottenham straight from the goal-kick, Raso latched onto a long ball and before cutting inside and shooting from a tight angle instead of squaring the ball to Weir who was unmarked in the Tottenham box for what would have been the opener for City. City ended the half with the last kick when a City counter found White unmarked inside the Tottenham box, but she was unable to get enough power behind her effort before being easily gathered by Spencer to end the half.

Second Half.

Tottenham made a second substitute at halftime with Green coming on for Williams. City came out the strongest in the 2nd half and started to enjoy the control of possession as they pinned Tottenham back. City had the best chance of the game in the 53rd minute when a Weir free-kick hit Spencer’s right-hand post before coming out as Tottenham escaped a scare. City came close again in the 58th minute when a Greenwood cross/shot almost caught Spencer off guard, but she managed to punch the ball to safety. City continued to come at Tottenham and in the 60th minute, Raso broke down the right from a Stanway pass before pulling the trigger but Spencer stood strong to deny City. 

Tottenham lost possession in the 63rd minute as Bronze broke on the attack, Ayane, tracked Bronze back before giving up the chase. Bronze found Raso with a pass who centred into the Tottenham box, Percival mis-controlled the ball and laid it on a plate for Weir to tap in from close range to give City the lead. The goal gave City confidence as Tottenham struggled to create any chances. Tottenham had a rare attack in the 69th minute when Harrop broke down the left and managed to get a good ball into the box for Neville but Roebuck was quick off her line again and clashed with Neville during a 50/50 challenge. 

Tottenham made their 3rd sub of the game in the 76th minute with Tang coming on for Cho. City tried to run the clock down in the final 10 minutes by passing the ball around and holding play up in the corner as Tottenham tried to latch onto any loose balls. Stanway should have made it 2 for City in the 82nd minute when she latched onto a loose ball and attacked the Tottenham defence but skied her effort as Tottenham was let off.

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

The 4th official indicated a minimum of 6 minutes of injury time, Tottenham made their 4th change of the game with Addison coming on for Clemaron. Tottenham pushed forward looking for an equaliser but City began to bully Tottenham by wasting time and committing fouls before holding out for the victory.

Photo: @spurswomen Twitter.

Player of the match.

Our player of the match decision was not easy as the whole team gave their all, especially in the first half. Summanen and Clemaron were outstanding, as was Bartrip in defence but our player of the match goes to Neville this week. Neville caused the City defence a lot of problems down the wing and played a huge part in Tottenham’s attacks. She found herself in positions where she could have grabbed a goal or two as Tottenham’s stand out player this week.

Photo:@spurswomen Twitter.

Post match analysis.

Tottenham started the game quite aggressively, going for every ball and playing City at their own game as they made it very tough for the visitors. The game started very open with both teams going at one another. Tottenham was defiantly the better side in the first 45 minutes and should have gone in 1 or 2 up at halftime but once again, not taking their chances let the team down.

City was the better team in the second half which was expected. With all the talent that City have they were bound to grow into the game. The City goal was a gift but that’s what happens when you don’t take your opportunities. Tottenham did suffer some bad luck by losing Simon and Williams before the second half but why Tang and Addison weren’t introduced earlier made no sense as they are the obvious changes.

March was always going to be a difficult month with City, Chelsea and Arsenal awaiting our Lilywhites. Tottenham fans can be proud of how the Lilywhites have performed against top sides like Arsenal and City this season and take many positives. The city goal was a gift and a team like Tottenham should not be giving these types of goals away but had they taken advantage of their chances in the first half it wouldn’t have mattered but sometimes luck just goes against you. 

We wish Simon and Williams a speedy recovery and hope to see them back for the matches against Chelsea and Arsenal as we will need all our firepower if we are to take anything from these two London derbies. If Tottenham shows the heart they did against City and can take their opportunities we could see a surprise coming in the next couple of weeks. We believe in the team and this group of players and wish them luck COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

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