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Five Things Learned: Tottenham 0-1 Manchester City (FA Cup Fourth Round)



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Manchester City advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 0-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur away from home.

Nathan Ake scored the winner, the club’s first ever goal in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, to secure their place in the next round and end a run of five shutout defeats dating back to April of 2019. 

Manchester City started the match strong when Oscar Bobb scored off a rebound in the opening five minutes. However, the linesman immediately raised his flag and after a lengthy VAR review, it was confirmed that the Norwegian was offside. 

It was a quick reminder of how difficult this fixture had been for Manchester City over the years. While the Sky Blues had control throughout, Bobb’s offside goal remained the best chance of the first-half. 

Tottenham had their big chance less than 10 minutes into the second half when Brennan Johnson was through on goal, but Stefen Ortega came diving in off his line to keep the game scoreless. 

A few minutes later Oscar Bobb and Julian Alvarez were brought off for Jeremy Doku and Kevin De Bruyne, as Pep Guardiola brought on attacking reinforcements. 

It was the right decision, De Bruyne’s corner set up Ake’s awkward 88th minute winner, as the Dutch defender poked in a bouncing ball that Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario was unable to catch.

Spurs players hounded referee Paul Tierney, hoping that a VAR review would show a foul on Dias. However, their cries went unanswered as the goal was confirmed, booking Manchester City’s place in the fifth round of the competition.

Here are the five things we learned from Manchester City’s first ever win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium!

The “curse” is over

Spurs away has long been a dreaded fixture over the past few years. Fortunately, Manchester City were able to get there first win at the new stadium, and avoided conceding a goal from Spurs’ first (and only) shot of the match. 

After years of shortcomings, it had too have been a huge relief for the players to finally secure a victory after an excellent performance.

Guardiola has full confidence in Oscar Bobb

It says a lot that Guardiola would turn to a 20-year-old for an away match in a cup competition. Historically, these are the ultra-controlled matches where City do everything in their power to prevent counter attacks and kill the crowd.

Normally these would be the matches that would see Foden or Palmer sidelined in favour of Grealish and Mahrez. However, after scoring the winner against Newcastle earlier this month it appears as though Guardiola has full trust in Bobb.

Kovacic is quickly becoming a mainstay

The £25 milion signing has continued to shine since coming over from Chelsea in the summer. While the squad surely still misses Gundogan’s goalscoring, Kovacic’s ability to carry the ball forward and break lines with his passing has been vital.

There wasn’t a doubt that the former Real Madrid midfielder would work, it is just surprising how quickly he has been able to adapt to the side.  

Stefen Ortega won’t be a City player for long

There wasn’t much known about the German goalkeeper when he signed from Arminia Bielefeld last summer. However, the 31-year-old has barely put a foot wrong since joining, and has pushed Ederson to improve his game as well.

It would be perfect for City to be able to hold on to an excellent deputy keeper, but it’s hard to imagine teams won’t come calling for him in the summer. 

Kevin De Bruyne will be needed for the run in

De Bruyne has been back for two matches so far this year, and in both matches he has been directly responsible for turning the tide of the match in City’s favour. 

City have a game in hand, and have a potential title decider away at Anfield in just six weeks time. It will be Klopp’s last ever game against City in the league, and De Bruyne’s magic will be needed.