With Manchester United out of the way, it’s now down to Tottenham Hotspur to make the Premier League title race remotely competitive once again.
Manchester City are now a staggering eleven points clear of the rest of the pack at the top flight’s summit and with their scintillating attacking form showing little sign of relenting, it will surely take a top six side of Tottenham’s calibre to cancel out the deficit.
It feels like City are taking the Premier League into uncharted territory, but can history give the visitors any positives to take into Saturday’s 5.30pm kickoff? Here’s a look back at the history of Man City vs Tottenham in the Premier League…
You’ll find few Premier League fixtures in which the balance of power has shifted as quickly and significantly as this one. Once upon a time, it was a foregone conclusion in Tottenham’s favour; in fact, from their first 26 meetings in the Premier League, City won just three – tasting victory at White Hart Lane just once during that time.
But the fortunes reversed drastically from the start of the 2010/11 campaign when City won eight of the next ten, doing the double over the Lilywhites in 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2014/15, and we’ve seen another revolution in recent years. Tottenham have won three of the last four meetings with City, alongside a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium last term. More peculiarly though, despite Spurs picking up twelve more wins than City there’s been just a five-goal difference down the years.
Tottenham have boasted some fantastic strike talents during the Premier League era but it’s a modern Manchester City icon who has raked in the most goals in this fixture – somewhat unsurprisingly, Sergio Aguero.
To say the Argentine enjoys scoring against Spurs would be a bit of an understatement; throughout his entire career, he’s only scored more goals against Newcastle. That includes a famous performance in 2014 when Aguero scored past the Lilywhites four times.
If there’s one positive for Spurs to take into this weekend’s meeting, however, it’s that Aguero hasn’t found the net in his last four appearances against them. The north Londoners’ top representative, meanwhile, is Jermain Defoe – he bagged his seven goals in 16 top flight outings versus the Citizens.
A former star both sets of fans will have largely mixed feelings about. Emmanuel Adebayor had an incredible knack of starting life at new clubs with a blaze of form, slowly petering out and quickly becoming a burden for the rest of the team.
At the Etihad Stadium, the Togo striker enjoyed one eventful season of decent form, most famed for his overzealous celebrations upon scoring past former club Arsenal, before plummeting down the pecking order and being loaned out to firstly Real Madrid and the Tottenham Hotspur. And upon moving to White Hart Lane, Adebayor once again sought out to impress his new employers with 18 goals during his debut season. But as soon as the deal became permanent, the African’s form quickly soured.
He went on to spend another three seasons in north London without truly holding down a role in the first team before being eventually released in September 2015. For both clubs, Adebayor served a purpose but eventually outstayed his welcome.
The importance of this match was only truly evident at the end of the season, when City beat Manchester United to the title on goal difference alone. That could have panned out incredibly differently, had Roberto Mancini’s side not dug deep to find a winner in quite literally the last second of stoppage time through a Mario Balotelli penalty – leading to a typically iconic pose from City’s one-time badboy.
Incredibly, four of the game’s five goals came in the space of just ten minutes in an explosive second half. First City struck twice through Samir Nasri and a Joleon Lescott tap-in at a corner; but just as the home side had finished celebrating, Harry Redknapp’s boys hit back – Jermain Defoe halved the deficit before Gareth Bale notched up an equaliser moments later.
Eventually then, it came down to Balotelli to break the deadlock – why always him?
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