In a game which was seen by many as the biggest indicator of how the club’s pre-season preparations are going so far, Tottenham were taken apart 3-0 by an impressive Manchester City side in Nashville on Saturday evening.
It is hard to argue that City didn’t deserve to win the game – from start to finish, Guardiola’s men were superior in every department and, had it not been for Hugo Lloris making several top-class saves in the Spurs goal, the result could’ve been even worse.
Despite Spurs starting relatively well, City went 1-0 up thanks to a goal coming from a City set piece, with John Stones heading in the opener after 10 minutes, before goals from Raheem Sterling (73) and Brahim Diaz (90+1) rounded off the emphatic win in the second half. Spurs had their chances though, with Dele, Kane and Eriksen forcing fine saves from Ederson in the first half.
Pochettino opted to go for what looked like a 3-4-2-1 formation in this game – like he has in the other two games on the USA tour – with Dele and Eriksen playing in behind Kane. Walker-Peters and Oakley-Boothe – both of whom have been the two youth prospects to feature on this pre-season tour – made appearances again in the second half of this game.
Spurs: Lloris (c, Vorm 46), Trippier (Walker-Peters 79), Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (Wimmer 71), Davies, Dembele (Nkoudou 55), Winks (Oakley-Boothe 71), Eriksen, Dele (Janssen 71), Kane.
In one of the only positives to come from the game, Toby Alderwiereld, Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Eriksen and Kane all completed 90 minutes.
When asked for his thoughts on the game, boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “It’s the same message after PSG and Roma. It’s tough to lose, always, but the priority is not about the result, it’s about getting fit and playing. We are working to try to get fit and the objective is to start in the best condition at Newcastle. It’s true they were better and deserved to win, but today it’s about work.”
Whilst Pochettino is right about this tour “being about getting fit and playing”, the result on Saturday has some fans quite rightly worrying about the upcoming new Premier League season which starts in two weeks’ time, away to Newcastle. City were stronger than us in every department on Saturday – quick, direct and aggressive, with the killer instinct there to win the game.
This tour in general has been very un-Spurs like in regards to the performances which the squad have put in – especially the defensive side of our game, which has seen us conceded 7 goals in the 3 games played in the USA. With the best defensive record in the Premier League last season – only 26 goals conceded in 38 games – Pochettino will be looking to iron out these types of issues before the season starts. Now, of course, there could be several factors which explain why the team has conceded so many goals on this tour – The introduction of defenders Kyle Walker-Peters and Cameron Carter-Vickers for example – both of which had very questionable performances in the PSG game – being one of the main factors.
Spurs round up their pre-season preparations with a game against Juventus at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 5th August