Michael Brown says City’s winner against Spurs was down to planning as we ended our goal drought at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to secure a place in the FA Cup fifth round.

Defender Nathan Ake prodded in from close range in the 88th minute to give City a 1-0 victory and end a more-than five-hour wait for a first goal at the venue.

It was perhaps not the most elegant we will score all season with Kevin De Bruyne’s near post corner towards Ruben Dias not dealt with by Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario who claimed he was fouled.

Former City and Spurs midfielder Brown, who was a special guest on Friday night’s edition of Matchday Live, says it was a small detail that proved important in a tight game.

And he says that it shows Pep Guardiola’s flexibility and the advice of set-piece coach Carlos Vicens, that City are not afraid to use an ‘old school’ tactic.

“It was all about the control, being patient and finally it happened,” Brown said.

“Those are the little details when you talk about the planning. They’ve realised there’s a target there, they’re going to put the ball right on top of the goalkeeper.

“At times, City will go short, come to the edge of the area or clever little ones. That was old school direct - let’s it hit it on top of the goalkeeper.

“Would you have said that Pep Guardiola would put the ball on top of the goalkeeper at a set-piece and go with Ruben Dias as the foil?”


Shaun Wright-Phillips was pitchside at the stadium with presenter FG and praised the way City were able to shut down the threat from the home side.

Under new boss Ange Postecoglu, Spurs have become an entertaining and attacking side, but they had only a single shot in the 90 minutes of the tie.

“They nullified Spurs on the transition and made it difficult for them when they tried to break,” Wright-Phillips said.

“I don’t recall Spurs ever having a shot on target. It shows how well we defended as a team.”

EDS coach Brian Barry-Murphy says Guardiola will be delighted with the way his side controlled the game at such a difficult venue.

And, while the first team will be happy to have avoided a replay, he says they were prepared to take another game rather than take risks to try to secure a result.

“It was probably the perfect performance from the manager’s view where he didn’t want that shootout,” he said.

“He wanted to take away Spurs’ greatest strength by having the ball for long periods and essentially wear them down with possession.

“I don’t know if [Pep] will say it, but he’ll love that performance, maybe more than a 3-0 or 4-0. He knows Spurs are a good team.

“He’ll respect how good they are but they weren’t dangerous because the level of performance was so good.”