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Man City v Tottenham: Talking Points

KDB: City's  Belgian star drives at Spurs

KDB: City's Belgian star drives at Spurs

Club journalist Caroline Oatway analyses what we learned from Man City's 2-2 draw with Tottenham...

1 Frustration

No doubt, you’re still wondering how on earth City managed to come out of the game with anything less than a win…

Very few can argue the Blues deserved anything less. Pep Guardiola’s men dominated, creating chance after chance… but ultimately, they were punished for failing to capitalise.

When the hosts finally broke the deadlock – and then went on to double it – there was an expectation they would sail to victory… perhaps with more goals.

It wasn’t to be. The beautiful game never ceases to throw up twists and turns, and out of nowhere, Spurs clawed themselves back into the clash to snatch a point.

It felt like a defeat, but let’s not forget: City were excellent against a side many view as the best in the Premier League – and there are many positives to take.

2 In-Sane

Even without his goal, Leroy Sane was dazzling.

The German winger was voted the City Matchday App users’ Man of the Match – and deservedly so.

With two goals in consecutive games now, the 21-year-old seems to have found his feet in the Premier League.

Jinking past his markers, bursting down the flank and putting in the hard yards defensively too, he was very impressive. Sky Sports noted he made more ‘high intensity sprints’ than any other City player has all season with 91.

Sane will thrive with more minutes on the pitch and will be hoping his last few displays will have earned him more appearances in the starting XI.

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3 Midfield maestros

As is so often the case, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne were absolutely mesmerising at times.

De Bruyne of course, netted the second – with a helping hand from Hugo Lloris – but he also created the first with a trademark awe-inspiring floated through-ball.

Silva was at his magnificent best, also carving open the Spurs defence on numerous occasions and showcasing his defensive attributes to regain possession with some fine tackles.

Both men were influential and very unfortunate not to be on the winning side.

4 Controversy

The subject the footballing world are fixated on: was it a penalty?

It’s debatable of course.

In real time, it didn’t appear that conclusive – Raheem Sterling bore down on goal but seemingly lost his balance before firing into the hands of Lloris.

However, Guardiola and those sitting in the stands at that end of the Etihad Stadium spotted what we all would discover in the replays – a nudge in the back.

The fact the City winger kept his balance has been mooted as the reason why the penalty (and presumably a resulting red card for Kyle Walker) wasn’t awarded.

To add to the woes, that passage of play ended with a Spurs equaliser and although Walker admitted to the challenge after the game, that will do little to ease the frustration.

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5 Jesus’ debut

The eagerly-awaited debut of new recruit Gabriel Jesus was very encouraging.

The youngster was introduced with eight minutes of normal time remaining and came very close to marking it with a goal.

In addition to his backpost strike, which would have rendered him an instant hero had it not been (rightly) ruled out for offside, the Brazilian also delivered a fine cross and almost headed into the top corner.

An encouraging impact in a cameo appearance – we’re looking forward to seeing more in the coming weeks.

6 Next up…

There’s a switch in focus next weekend as City return to FA Cup action with a fourth-round tie at Crystal Palace.

There is time to reflect on Saturday evening’s game and put things right, as the Blues look to progress in a competition which means so much to this Club.

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Picture Special

Buoyant City held by Spurs