City were keen to continue the momentum they built during the Real Madrid game and it showed. The Blues were completely dominant in the game against Spurs this evening at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee as Kyle Walker faced his old team for the first time only a couple of weeks after moving.
City were unchanged at the back from the game against Real Madrid earlier in the week with Walker and Danilo being deployed as the wing-backs with Kompany, Otamendi and Stones in the middle. Fernandinho, Silva and De Bruyne occupied the midfield with Sterling and Gabriel Jesus up top.
The game got off to a quick start and Ederson had to be quick off his line to deny Dele Alli giving Spurs the lead inside the first minute. It took a few minutes for the game to get settled but when it did City took complete control, pressing Tottenham’s back line high up the pitch, forcing them to make many errors in possession. It wasn’t long before this paid off for the Blues as a free-kick into the box by De Bruyne was met by Stones’ head to give City the lead with 10 minutes played.
City continued to create chance after chance as the first half went on but failed to capitalise with Danilo, Sterling and Jesus squandering the ball in particular. City were almost made to pay just before the half time whistle went with Harry Kane being played through for the first time in the game for a one-on-one, but Ederson was again quick off his line to smother the chance just inside the 18 yard box.
The second half continued in a similar fashion with City continuing their domination of the ball, managing to consistently find space in behind the Tottenham back line. After the traditional multi-player substitutions that we’re used to seeing in friendly matches, City doubled their lead when Samir Nasri played a through-ball to Raheem Sterling, who coolly slotted the ball past Vorm.
Even more substitutions brought the total number of youngsters on the pitch to four with Muric, Duhaney, Foden and Diaz all getting some game time against the London club. As full-time approached one of those youngsters – Brahim Diaz – scored City’s third after a blocked shot fell into his path in the six yard box and he was there to tap it in.
Although this was only a pre-season game, there are a lot of positives to take from it, especially considering that this is still only the third proper game of football that City have played this summer. The five at the back seems to be a viable option going into the new Premier League season and it is held up by two of the new full-backs who have been so fresh in these areas of the pitch.
We can finally get used to seeing overlapping full-backs putting crosses in and not so easily being done for pace on the counter. City looked sleek and sharp on the ball, moving it around comfortably and winning it back quickly and efficiently with the high press. One slightly worrying issue was that although we were creating a huge amount of chances, we were still squandering chances that a more ruthless team would be putting away, something that was a consistent theme throughout last season.