CITY 1 SPURS 6
Report by Eddie Blount
City fans left the King Power after the Spurs game in somewhat shell-shocked condition. We not only lost by a five-goal margin but, even worse we, ultimately at least, deserved to lose by that margin. Returning home the first words I said to my wife in reply to her ‘What on earth happened?’ were ‘Had it gone on fifteen minutes longer they would have had ten!’ Twenty- four hours on I stand by that initial assessment!
The early signs in this game were ominous as Spurs were clearly in the mood to make a statement about their failure to keep up with City at the death last season. Both sides committed to playing an open game and goals were inevitable. With City the loss of the first goal, this season, is usually fatal and thus it turned out to be last night.
We did have a clear chance at 0-0 when Mahrez made one of his few contributions to play in Vardy, whose confident first-time shot was unfortunately straight at Lloris. As ever the fates punish sides who fail to take their chances. Shortly afterwards Son, who had a fantastic game, got in behind Fuchs and Chilwell before laying off to the perfectly-positioned Kane who finished with aplomb.
This muted the section of the crowd who had been trying to give him some stick. It turned out that he carried an even bigger stick, somewhat predictably given his name. When will fans learn that it is never a good idea to motivate a proven goal-scorer. Yes he was nothing when on loan at City but two years later he was a master finisher as his four goals last night amply demonstrated
City should have been back in the game fairly soon after as Vardy was flattened from behind in the penalty area when very well placed but referee Oliver, one of the best I believe, made the sort of decision that went in favour of City last year but which have gone the other way for most of this season.
A second goal for Spurs was the last thing we needed but it duly came when Dele Alli chipped into space for Son to bury a volley from close range. Good goal showing the virtues of movement off the ball and teamwork.
City made an attacking substitution after the break bringing on Slimani for Okazaki and we embarked on the best spell we had during the whole game, forcing Spurs on the defensive and pressing hard. Vardy, one of the few players immune from any criticism forced Lloris to leave his box as he tracked down a through pass. The collision left the Spurs goal unattended and several City players – for once – in the vicinity. The ball ran to Chilwell who tried to make too certain and delayed his shot for an interminable time before shooting straight at Dier by now back on the goal-line. Fortunately Dier was off balance and could only divert the ball into the back of the net. It did not get any better than this all night!
The one thing we did not need was for Spurs to get another goal but an untidy move – uncharacteristic of this elegant footballing side – resulted in the killer blow, Kane using his height and strength to force in a header at the far post. You should not concede goals like this. It finished the match as a contest.
Shakespeare made more attacking substitutions and played three at the back without a recognised centre-back in sight! Spurs could see we had lost it and took full advantage, Kane twice ambling towards our goal and rifling the ball home from the edge of the penalty area as if shelling peas. It was one way traffic and we were given a lesson.
So what do we learn from this performance? First you have to say that a repeat against Bournemouth on Sunday will not go down well! And remember that we failed to beat the Cherries last year either home or away. We need to finish in the top half of the table and only a win will restore some of the confidence shattered by last night’s display.
Second we have to acknowledge that we have a really good starting XI but lack the back-up strength we need, certainly in defence and midfield as injuries, loss of form and suspensions kick in. It was no coincidence that we lost at Millwall to a team that on paper we should have annihilated.
Finally it has to be acknowledged that this result is not good for Shakey’s CV. He was put to the test last night, went for the attacking option and got what the Norwegians call a ‘Hell of a beating.’ No side aspiring to make the grade in the Premiership should lose 6-1 and definitely not at home. Being too easily beaten cost Ranieri his job and Shakespeare cannot afford to let this happen again. We must be competitive in all games for the duration of the whole match. Last night we were not and paid the price.
City: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane (Gray 66), Fuchs, Chilwell, Amartey, Ndid, Mahrez, Albrighton,Okazaki (Slimani 46), Vardy (Musa 79)
Spurs: LLoris, Alderweireld, Dier, Vertonghen,Sissoko (NKoudou 90),Dembelee (Lesniak 86), Wanyama, Davies, Alli, Son (Janssen 78), Kane
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