Spurs 1-2 City (PL2)
Report from Hotspur Way
14 October 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Shayon Harrison’s penalty set up a grandstand finish, but our 10 men couldn’t quite get the equaliser they deserved as we slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League 2 under the lights at White Hart Lane on Friday night (October 14).
City’s Javairo Dilrosun grabbed an early opener and some fans might have feared the worst based on some of our recent results in this competition, but the fact was the manner of this defeat in no way resembled our previous efforts.
In spite of Ryan Loft’s 24th-minute dismissal, we controlled the play for the rest of the game – and notably avoided going 2-0 down before the break when goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman produced a marvellous penalty save to deny Paolo Fernandes.
The City man did manage to hit the target from long range in the second period, but our young side played with real passion. The returning Harrison stepped off the bench to throw us a lifeline from the spot with just under 10 minutes left, but our performance was not to be rewarded – Harrison’s skied effort on the turn in stoppage time the nearest we went to a late leveller.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Manchester City - Javairo Dilrosun - 6mins
It took the visitors just six minutes to take the lead as Fernandes played the ball over the top, Dilrosun nipped between Anton Walkes and makeshift centre-back Charlie Owens and kept his cool to slot into the bottom corner. To our lads' credit, we enjoyed a bright spell in the immediate aftermath and almost levelled with a similar move as Walkes found striker Loft with a long ball, he just managed to touch it beyond the advancing Billy O'Brien but the City keeper got back to smother. Marcus Edwards and Loft then went close as we continued on the front foot.
Red Card: Loft given his marching orders - 24mins
We suffered a blow just past the midway point of the first period as Loft's strong challenge on Rodney Kongolo on half-way earned him a straight red card from referee Neil Hair.
Above: Luke Amos and Anton Walkes both go up for an aerial challenge.
Woodwork: Georgiou so close - 42mins
Despite the disadvantage in numbers – and on the scoreline – we played with spirit and almost levelled with a fine move that saw Kyle Walker-Peters take the initiative and turn defence quickly into attack. He burst out from the back, exchanged passes with Shilow Tracey – who was a lively presence on the right all evening – and got to the byline, his cut-back was knocked down to Anthony Georgiou but the winger rattled the crossbar with his shot on the turn.
Penalty save: Whiteman heroics deny City - 44mins
It might have been game over just before the break as left-back Joe Muscatt was adjudged to have fouled Demeaco Duhaney just inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty but Whiteman dived superbly down low to his right to turn the ball away.
Goal: Spurs 0-2 Manchester City - Paolo Fernandes - 55mins
We continued to dictate the tempo after the break and if there was one team that looked likely to score next, it was the men in Lilywhite. Unfortunately, though, events didn't transpire that way and after the ball broke to Fernandes on the edge of our box following an attack down City's right, he lashed into the far corner with a powerful strike to double the visitors' lead.
Goal: Spurs 1-2 Manchester City - Shayon Harrison (pen) - 81mins
The chances dried up for a spell following City's second goal but there was still an intensity about us and after James Horsfield fouled Georgiou in the box as he burst towards the byline on the left, substitute Harrison – returning after a spell out injured – stepped up to drive the penalty into the bottom right corner. Backed by an enthusiastic crowd of more than 1,400, we showed plenty of intent as we sought to peg City back but ultimately our hopes – along with Harrison’s injury-time effort following Georgiou’s ball in – vanished into the night.
Coach Ugo Ehiogu said
“The boys definitely didn’t deserve to lose that match. When you cut down to the actual specifics it was a lesson that at the top level we need to be a bit more clinical, relaxed and sometimes arrogant in our finishing. I thought we rushed a couple of shots, snatched at a couple but I cannot fault the work ethic, the passion that the boys have shown, the desire to get back into the game, to win the ball and the desire to do extra running. It’s just a shame that it took us really until the 24th minute and the sending-off to get that way.
“Shilow Tracey and Anthony Georgiou had their opposite numbers on toast – Shilow looked a threat, was aggressive and clean in his passing, Anthony was aggressive, athletic and relentless and that’s from his first 90 minutes in nearly four months. He was terrific. Charlie Owens has worked on a lot of aspects of his game off the pitch and it was nice to see him come through in such a positive way. Joe Pritchard again has worked terrifically hard and was clever. If you are going to play a football match with a performance like the boys have shown for 70-odd minutes here, you’ll win more games than you lose.”
Spurs: Whiteman, Walker-Peters, Muscatt (Harrison 61), Amos (c, Stylianides 57), Walkes, Owens, Tracey, Pritchard (Goddard 76), Loft, Edwards, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): Maghoma, Austin (GK).
Manchester City: O'Brien (c), Duhaney, Humphreys, Oliver (Wood 66, Davenport 74), Horsfield, Diallo (Patching 57), Nemane, Kongolo, Diaz, Fernandes, Dilrosun. Substitutes (not used): Sarmiento, Grimshaw (GK).
Goals: Spurs - Harrison 81 (pen); Manchester City - Dilrosun 6, Fernandes 55.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Muscatt 32; Manchester City - Horsfield 34, Kongolo 41.
Red card: Spurs - Loft 24.
Referee: Neil Hair.
While some players involved in this game are eligible to play in our third UEFA Youth League outing away to Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, our next Premier League 2 fixture takes place a week on Monday against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes, also with 10 men, battled out a goalless draw with Chelsea on Friday night.