CITY NO MATCH FOR CLASSY SPURS

CITY 0 SPURS 2

Report by Eddie Blount

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Spurs next game on Tuesday is Barcelona away; thus it was unlikely that they would be fazed by a visit to the King Power and indeed they were not. Although City were never totally out of this game they never really looked like getting anything from it. Given that City need their best players available and firing if they are to compete with the top sides the news that Vardy was out and Maguire only fit to take a place on the bench made this an easy result to predict. And Spurs achieved this without Erikssen and the mighty Kane, both only coming on as late substitutes when the match was effectively over.

In spite of the talent on view this was a strange match in terms of final outcomes. City managed a mere handful of goal attempts and Spurs for all their quality had only two attempts on goal both of which succeeded! They moved the ball well, always thinking and acting a little quicker than their City counterparts, and frequently moved into threatening positions but City generally defended better than they attacked and Schmeichel, the goals apart, barely had a shot to save.

At the other end we were frankly toothless! City’s attacking style is geared to Vardy and Iheanacho is a completely different striker and much less experienced so although we commendably kept going the prospect of our scoring, never significant, receded altogether. I lost count of the number of crosses we put in not one of which reached a City player – not that the crosser had much choice of targets! It was different when Spurs attacked as they always had the sort of numbers available that we should aspire to. In short they attacked and defended as a unit but we did not!

As the first half drew to a close it seemed likely that City would reach the interval in a position of parity but it was not to be and Son’s strike effectively determined the result of the match. Again it illustrated the gap in quality between the two sides. Son worked his way along the edge of the box, City defenders stood off, fatally, giving him space to curl a superb shot high into the corner of the net to Schmeichel’s right from all of 20 yards. Later in the game we had two not dissimilar chances, one of which was blocked, as Son’s should have been, and the other finished near row Z!

The second half followed the same pattern as the first with little to give City fans any hope of a change of fortunes. We were put out of our misery fairly early on when a second goal for Spurs meant the definitive end of the contest. This was a very poor goal to concede.

Son made progress down his left and immediately Alli moved into position at the far post – completely unmarked. He remained in that position for what seemed – and was – an age, still completely unmarked. Son stopped his forward run, sized up his options and spotted Alli. Evans, who had a decent match, glanced to his left and saw Alli but he realised that he had two players to mark and chose to leave Alli unmarked. Chilwell, the absent defender, was now at the edge of the box having made his way back from a forward position at something much less than top speed. He sensed the danger but seemed paralysed by that thought as he failed to close the gap between himself and Alli. Son’s cross was pinpoint and Alli’s uncontested header was pushed by Schmeichel into the roof of the net. Game over!

I have to put Chilwell in the dock for this goal. This gives me no pleasure at all as he was arguably City’s top performer overall but he must improve his defending. It is not easy when he is expected to bomb forward at every opportunity to be in position in the back four when the opposition counter-attack but every wing-back faces that same dilemma. In this case he was not that far advanced when Spurs attacked on the counter and needed to bust a gut to get back but didn’t. Coleman of Everton would have got back and so would some others. You cannot switch off for a moment.

Generally speaking the back four came out of this match with the most credit, with special mention for Wes Morgan, one tackle on Alli a particular moment to treasure. Ricardo also looked the part having seemingly improved his defending. Up front City had little to offer. Puel’s decision to offload both Ulloa and Slimani has left us shorthanded whilst having a bloated squad overall! It has also left us with no Plan B and no strikers who provide an aerial threat.

Finally, I do hope Maddison took note of Son’s masterclass!

City: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Evans, Chilwell, Iborra ( Albrighton 56), Ndidi, Mendy (Okazaki 79), Gray, Iheanacho (Ghezzal 56), Maddison

Spurs: Lloris,  Aurier (Walker-Peters 77), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Sissoko, Dier, Winks, Alli, Son (Kane 74), Lucas (Erikssen 67)

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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View from the Opposition – Spurs

View from the Opposition – Spurs

A bit about you:

Name: Terry Mansfield

Current home town: St Albans

Birthplace: London

How long have you supported your team? 47 Years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Nothing about Wembley – new Stadium looks amazing though, I just hope we can create a better atmosphere than many have when they’ve redeveloped or moved.

Favourite match played by your team & why: In recent years it has to be the 2-1 win v Chelsea in the 2008 Football League Cup Final – purely because it brought a trophy to the club.

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: I can’t just name one e.g. Steve Perryman for his 854 games, Jimmy Greaves for his 266 goals, not to mention class from Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Teddy Sheringham, Jürgen Klinsmann, David Ginola, Gareth Bale & Harry Kane.

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why?  Harry Kane – pure class

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Heung-Min Son – on form

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Would have been Vardy but now he is injured I’ll go for Maddison as I think he has been an excellent buy for you.

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Kazaiah Sterling

How do you think you’ll do against us? 3-0 win

General Questions:

Where do you think you’ll finish this season?  3rd

Who do you think will win the league? Sadly the gap to Man City and Liverpool is too great.  I think Man City will win the league as Liverpool will run out of steam.

Which three teams do you think will get relegated from the Premiership? Fulham, Burnley and Cardiff

Any other comments? Yes we did come third in a two horse race!

Up Next – Spurs

Up Next – Spurs

Manager        Mauricio Pochettino

Founded       1882            Ground         Wembley Stadium

Address       Wembley, London HA9 0WS

Capacity         90,000 (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 62,062) 

Squad:

1              France                  GK          Hugo Lloris (Captain)

2              England                DF           Kieran Trippier

3              England                DF           Danny Rose

4              Belgium                DF          Toby Alderweireld

5              Belgium                DF          Jan Vertonghen

6              Colombia             DF           Dávinson Sánchez

7              South Korea        FW         Son Heung-min

8              England               MF         Harry Winks

10           England                FW         Harry Kane

11           Argentina              MF         Érik Lamela

12           Kenya                   MF         Victor Wanyama

13           Netherlands         GK          Michel Vorm

14           France                  MF         Georges-Kévin N'Koudou

15           England                MF         Eric Dier

16           England                DF          Kyle Walker-Peters

17           France                  MF         Moussa Sissoko

18           Spain                    FW         Fernando Llorente

19           Belgium                MF         Mousa Dembélé

20           England                MF         Dele Alli

21           Argentina              DF         Juan Foyth

22           Argentina             GK          Paulo Gazzaniga

23           Denmark              MF         Christian Eriksen

24           Ivory Coast          DF          Serge Aurier

27           Brazil                   MF         Lucas Moura

33           Wales                  DF          Ben Davies

—           Netherlands       FW         Vincent Janssen

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/

FOXES SNATCH POINT IN RANIERI REUNION

Fulham 1 City 1

Match Report by Colin Hall

A 74th minute strike from James Maddison earned a draw for Leicester City during a rainswept evening on the banks of the Thames.

Although the result extended the Foxes' unbeaten run in all competitions to 7 games, this was far from an impressive performance by Claude Puel's side against Fulham, the Premier League's bottom club.

Indeed, the hosts had several chances, particularly during the closing stages, to have taken the game, and their spirited display frequently belied the gap of 11 places (and 13 points) that exists between the combatants in the current league table.

When the sides took the field, it came as no surprise to hear the name of the Fulham manager, a certain Claudio Ranieri, sung far with far more volume and gusto by the sizeable visiting contingent than that of the present incumbent.

The City side, showing several changes from the line-up that saw off Watford in the previous fixture, almost made a perfect start, when Maddison sent Kelechi Iheanacho clear on the home goal. However, the out-of-sorts striker, faced with several options, could only direct a weak effort straight at home keeper Rico.

Sadly, the miss set the tone for the rest of Iheanacho's game. Although he is a player of significant potential, there remains serious doubt as to whether that potential is ever likely to be realised at this club under the present regime.

The remainder of the opening half saw the hosts create more clear-cut scoring opportunities. Mitrovic outjumped the visiting defence to head wide from a corner, then Kasper Schmeichel was forced to turn away a fierce drive from Chambers.

But the breakthrough that Fulham had threatened finally arrived three minutes from the interval, as Kamara evaded an extravagant (and not entirely necessary) sliding challenge from Caglar Söyüncü before firing a shot which passed between Schmeichel's legs on its way to the net.

City fans hoped that Puel's half-time team talk would rouse the side into a response. Instead, though, whatever rhythm or cohesion the team possessed earlier in the game seemed to disappear completely, with simple passes going astray and Schmeichel's distribution – never his strongest point – becoming ever more erratic.

A more confident side than Fulham might have pressed home their evident superiority, but fortunately for the Foxes, the home side were unable to exploit such evident disarray, though sub Cairney sent a long-range shot inches wide with the City keeper stranded.

Puel, perhaps pushed into making changes earlier than he otherwise may have done, saw them produce the desired impact almost immediately, when Shinji Okazaki, only two minutes after being introduced for Danny Simpson, crossed for Maddison to net from close range.

To their managers' credit, both teams pressed strongly for a winner in the final 15 minutes. City created their share of the chances, with Vicente Iborra heading wide, while Maddison and Demarai Gray were denied by Rico in rapid succession.

Yet it was the hosts who nearly had the last word, when, with virtually the match's final kick, Odoi beat an ill-judged offside trap only to blaze wastefully over.

The prevailing post-match opinion among the fans I spoke to (or saw online comment from) was that the result represented a point gained by the visitors rather than two dropped. City have now played each of the league's bottom three clubs in the past month and failed to beat any of them in open play.

This form does not augur well for the series of forthcoming clashes with several of the league's big guns.

However, the plus points for Puel will be that the side appeared to avoid further serious injuries and actually (for once) managed to complete an entire game without collecting a single red or yellow card! 

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Rico; Christie (Ream 84), Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand (Bryan 77); Chambers, Seri; Kamara, Vietto (Cairney 45), R Sessegnon; Mitrovic. Subs not used: Bettinelli, Kebano, Schürrle, Anguissa.

Goal: Kamara (42) 

Leicester (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Simpson (Okazaki 72), Morgan, Söyüncü, Chilwell; Ndidi, Mendy (Iborra 72); Albrighton, Maddison, Diabate (Gray 55); Iheanacho. Subs not used: Ward, Ricardo, Fuchs, Knight.

Goal: Maddison (74)

Referee: David Coote         Attendance: 22,881

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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View from the Opposition – Fulham

View from the Opposition – Fulham

A bit about you:

Name: Michael Feelan

Current home town: London

Birthplace: London

How long have you supported your team? 28 years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Compactness creates a good atmosphere

Favourite match played by your team & why: 14 April 2001 and our 2-1 win at Huddersfield that saw our 33 year wait to return to the highest level of football over at last!

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: Louis Saha 53 goals in 117 games says it all

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why?  Aleksandar Mitrovic for his goals

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? I wish I was saying 17/18 player of the season Tim Ream, but after injury and poor performances he will not figure, so I’ll go for Aleksandar Mitrovic again for his goals

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Vardy if he plays

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Ryan Sessegnon

How do you think you’ll do against us? Win 2-1 Claudio Ranieri’s revenge!

General Questions:

Where do you think you’ll finish this season?  Mid table – but survival first of all!

Who do you think will win the league? Man City

Which three teams do you think will get relegated from the Premiership? Burnley, Southampton and Huddersfield

Any other comments? We were all gutted about your Chairman – as that banner said at your game on Saturday …. he allowed us all to dream.