As Premier League leaders Manchester City look to increase the gap at the top, they will be keen to avoid a banana skin as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur. The fortunes of both teams have greatly changed since their clash in November in which Tottenham took a 2-0 victory, Manchester City will be looking to get their own back.
A Question of Revenge for Premier League Leaders Manchester City
A Change in Fortune
In November 2020, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur waltzed to a 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The reaction was that it summed up the expected trajectory of Spurs and Manchester City. Spurs were seen as early contenders, City as lacking the spark to win.
Indeed, talk in the first half of the 2020/21 season was dominated with the idea that City had lost their mojo. They were struggling for goals and were struggling with a leaky defence. It felt as if the Pep Guardiola project was nearing a natural conclusion.
Fast forward three months, and fortunes have flipped. Spurs have become stale, struggling along in low-scoring matches. In contrast, City have been thriving. Goals are very much back on the menu, and a pairing of John Stones and Ruben Dias has steadied the defensive ship.
As such, the clash with Spurs presents itself as something of a symbolic moment. A Manchester City win would represent quite how neatly City turned their season around.
A Tricky Game for Manchester City
Perhaps this game holds even more symbolic importance, given that lately Spurs have often made City come unstuck. Manchester City failed to beat Tottenham in the 2019/20 season, and found themselves on the end of Champions League heartbreak in 2018/19.
For City fans, the Champions League debacle likely takes the biscuit in terms of pain. After a tug-of-war of a match, City thought they had snatched victory in the dying embers. A last-minute VAR check decided otherwise.
Of course, there is no need to exaggerate going into this game. Man City are in fine form, and Spurs are very much the underdogs. The point of importance is simply that there exists a sticky past for City in this fixture.
This clash presents a chance to move on from some of this irritation. A confident win for Manchester City has the potential to show that a corner has been turned.