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City’s curious goal drought at Spurs ends: Aké leads Manchester into the last 16

For a long time, it looked like a 0-0 draw in the clash between Tottenham and Manchester City. But it never came to that, partly due to an energetic tackle by Ruben Dias

The FA Cup had a real treat in store on Friday evening: Tottenham hosted Manchester City – and both coaches were taking the game quite seriously, as was evident just by looking at the line-ups. Spurs coach Ange Postecoglou brought on Kulusevski for Skipp from the 2-2 draw at Manchester United. New signing Werner therefore started again.

For the visitors, coach Pep Guardiola brought in Ortega Moreno (goal) and Bobb after the 3-2 win at Newcastle United – Ederson (goal) and Doku ended up on the bench – two players from the second tier, but otherwise it was a serious formation with which the champions started.

Bobb almost scored Manchester City’s first ever goal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the first attempt. The 20-year-old dusted off a Foden shot that was blocked by Vicario to make it 1-0, but referee Paul Tierney rightly ruled it offside – a millimetre decision (5th).

High intensity, no chance

That was the end of any notable goalmouth action in the first half. Although Manchester controlled the game and had more possession, they struggled to break down the tight Spurs defense. The tempo of the game was still quite high, but both sides were often too imprecise. Consequently, after 45 minutes with few chances, the teams went into the half-time break goalless.

Just like the first half, the second started with a promising chance for City: Alvarez shot over from an acute angle (48′). But that was all that was really on offer in the second half. Intense tackles, a lack of willingness to take risks and one or two too many misplaced passes meant that the match was largely uneventful

Ruben Dias makes room for Aké

It was only in the closing stages that things became livelier, partly because the Londoners’ strength and concentration waned a little. However, Bernardo Silva (81′) was denied by Vicario in this phase, as was Doku (86′) – four minutes earlier, De Bruyne had perhaps missed the best chance when he shot across goal from a free position.

Guardiola was still very annoyed at that point, as there was the threat of a replay. That it did not come to that was largely down to Ruben Dias, who energetically cleared a De Bruyne corner against Vicario to create space for Aké, who only had to finish from close range (88′). Spurs appealed for a foul, but ultimately in vain.

The spell was broken, City had scored for the first time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – and are now through to the last 16 of the FA Cup. Before that, however, the Premier League continues for both teams next Wednesday: The Londoners will host FC Brentford, while ManCity play host to Burnley – kick-off is at 8.30pm.

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