A good Premier League show, and the referee stole the show
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Suggested reading time|7 minutes
When Arsenal and Liverpool won all three points in this round of the Premier League, Manchester City was forced to draw 3-3 by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday night and fell to third place in the standings. The excitement of this game is not inferior to the previous 4-4 Manchester City away game against Chelsea, after three consecutive rounds of draws and six points lost, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola looked somewhat depressed after the game, "Of course it was a good game, everyone enjoyed it, Tottenham should be happier, and we are not so happy." ”
In the goal shootout, Manchester City was held to a draw
Just six minutes into the game, Tottenham captain Son Heung-min took advantage of a counter-attacking opportunity to break through Doku's close defence with the ball and open the scoring for the team. The South Korean striker had just returned to the game after celebrating his goal, and he immediately set up an own goal in a set-piece defence, which was rubbed by Haaland and smashed into Son Heung-min's thigh and deflected into the Tottenham goal. With just 137 seconds to go before Son Heung-min's goal, the South Korean striker was only the second player in Premier League history to score in the opening 10 minutes. The last time such a rare incident occurred was in May 1999, when Barry, who played for Aston Villa, played out the same scenario against Charlton Athletic.
Interestingly, a second before Son Heung-min set himself up for an oolong, Dablin, the former Premier League golden boot who served as a commentator on the BBC that day, was still commenting on the South Korean striker's counterattack goal: "It's quite lethal to let Son Heung-min appear in that position!" BBC reporter Begley wittily responded: "This position and the position just now are indeed deadly!"
The drama of the game then escalated further. First, Haaland was almost facing an empty goal when he was unmarked for 10 yards in front of the goal, and actually pushed the ball wide. Tottenham then threatened again on the counter-attack, this time when Ruben Dias fell to the ground in front of goal with a tackle-like move, leaving the City fans in a cold sweat. Dablin sighed at the scene: "The score should have been 2-2 now!" and after Doku hit the woodwork with a powerful shot, Foden finally received Alvarez's pass and pushed the goal in the 31st minute to make it 2-1. It was also Foden's 60th direct involvement in a goal for Manchester City (39 goals, 21 assists), a figure that has been recorded by Pep Guardiola 10 players since he took charge of the Blues in 2016/17.
For Tottenham, if they lose this game again, they will be embarrassed to face the reality of being the first to score in four consecutive games only to be reversed. Julián Alvarez, in particular, hit the other post five minutes later, but Dablin felt Tottenham's situation was not as fateful as it seemed: "Tottenham only needed a decent counter-attack, and Son Heung-min's pace and finishing skills were enough to turn similar chances into goals again. ”
In the second half, Doku retired injured in the 52nd minute, and Pep Guardiola's substitution of Grealish quickly received an unnecessary yellow card for interfering with the opponent's kick-off in a dead-ball condition, and he also became the second Manchester City player to receive their fifth yellow card of the season after Rodri, both of whom will miss Manchester City's next round against fourth-placed Villa. With City unable to extend their lead further, the counter-attacking opportunity that Tottenham needed came without warning: Son Heung-min found Lo Celso as soon as he won the ball in front, and the latter struck a tricky long-range shot from 20 yards out with his left foot, and the ball went straight to the bottom of the net to make it 2-2.
In the 81st minute, Tottenham's Bissouma played with fire at the back, and City managed to steal the ball through a scramble amid Sky TV commentator Gary Neville's exclamation of "What the hell are you doing!", and then Grealish received Haaland's cross from the right to complete the scoring and put the score over again. This time, however, City's lead lasted less than 10 minutes, and they were equalised by Tottenham in the 90th minute: Kulusevski headed in Johnson's cross, 3-3!
Blow and stop the single knife, and the referee steals the show
Even so, the dramatic clash of the game did not come to an end. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Haaland was kicked down, seeing him get up quickly, referee Simon Hooper stretched out his hand to signal the game to continue, but when the Norwegian striker sent the ball to the front court to help Grealish form a one-on-one momentum, Hooper suddenly whistled inexplicably to stop the game, signaling that Tottenham had just fouled, killing Manchester City's chance, and the decision was changed to a set-piece for the home team! Haaland then received a yellow card for angrily protesting to the referee. In the eighth minute of stoppage time, Akanji fell to the ground after being dragged by Skipra in the box, and VAR stepped in to review, but ultimately ignored the angry Manchester City players, deciding that the actions of the Tottenham defenders were not enough to cause Akanji to fall to the ground, and a penalty was not awarded. The match finally came to an end amid the frustrated and angry boos of the home fans.
Former Premier League Golden Boot winner Dablin said in his post-match review that the game was top-notch in terms of excitement and drama, with the only fly in the ointment being Hooper's inexplicable decision before the end: "Both players should be proud of their performance, both sides played beautiful football in this game, including Son Heung-min's own goal, all six goals were incredible." However, Hooper made a huge mistake in the final minute of the game and Grealish was about to face the Tottenham goalkeeper one-on-one when he blew the whistle, and I couldn't understand the logic of Hooper first signalling for the game to continue and then abruptly blowing for a stoppage, which is inexplicable in the rules. Of course, it was probably the only glaring mistake he made in the game. ”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, for his part, will face various questions from the media after the game, saying that he will not criticize the referee like Arteta, but is more willing to respond to questions about Manchester City conceding eight goals in three games: "We should be aware of the goals we conceded against Chelsea, but the goals conceded against Liverpool and Tottenham were different. Because against Chelsea, our problem was to allow the opposition to create too many chances on goal and that didn't happen today [against Tottenham] and against Liverpool. Our problem today was that we didn't do a good job of transitioning after a corner, the team made mistakes and conceded goals. Football sometimes makes mistakes like that, but we're still standing here and after all these years we can still feel the desire to win the league. ”
However, although he doesn't think there are too many problems with the team's defence, Pep Guardiola is clearly not happy with City's attacking performance, and in his opinion, the team was held to a draw at home by Liverpool, and the problem was also in the attacking efficiency: "We actually played at a very high level today, but we were unlucky that the situation like the last game against Liverpool happened again. The team failed to completely kill the game in a dominant situation. ”
Manchester City are three points behind leaders Arsenal in the table and third in the Premier League after this draw. In the next round of the league they will face fourth-placed Villa, who are one point clear of Pep Guardiola's side in the table, while Manchester City fans will be worried that Rodri and Grealish will both be suspended, while Doku is unclear. Blue Moon's original most coveted squad depth is being tested in the recent frequent schedule.
The author of this article is Liu Chuan