Player ratings: Tottenham vs. Manchester City

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LONDON — Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Sunday to lay down a marker.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Spurs dominated large spells of the game as their high-pressing blew City away.

Mauricio Pochettino won the tactical battle against Pep Guardiola, but who shone on the pitch?

[ MORE: Spurs title push?

Here’s a mark out of 10 for each player who took part at WHL.


Hugo Lloris – 7 – Smart tops from Aguero in the second half and a cool head.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Hardly put a foot wrong in a solid back four.

Toby Alderweireld – 7 – See above. Ushered Aguero away from danger masterfully.

Jan Vertonghen – 7 – Again, see above. Vertonghen and Alderweireld are probably the best central defensive partnership in Europe right now.

Danny Rose – 7 – All-action display from Rose as he got forward and supported the attack.

Victor Wanyama – 7 – Superb display from the Kenyan destroyer who is fast becoming a fans favorite. Swept up in front of defense.

Erik Lamela – 6 – Wrestled with Son for the penalty kick, which he missed, and he gave the ball away on multiple occasions.

Christian Eriksen – 6 – Got a little lost in the pace and power of the game in a deeper role and his shooting from distance was off.

Moussa Sissoko – 7 – Powerful display on the right. Won a thunderous challenge in first half. Tireless effort.

Dele Alli – 8 – Took his goal well and won a penalty kick. Continues to mature and along with Son, makes Tottenham tick.

Heung-Min Son – 9 – Set up Alli’s goal wonderfully and was a constant thorn in Man City’s side. Quite clearly the man of the match.

Eric Dier (on for Sissoko, 73′) – 6 – Steady enough in midfield to help Spurs see out the win
Georges Kevin Nkoudou (on for Alli, 86′) – 6 – Showed  brief glimpses of pace and promise
Vincent Janssen (on for Son, 90′) – 6 – Worked hard late on, just failed to get on the end of a few chances.

Manchester City

Claudio Bravo – 5 – Saved a penalty kick from Lamela but again looked nervous with the ball at his feet.

Pablo Zabaleta – 6 – Solid enough from Zabaleta. What you see is what you get.

John Stones – 5 – Not a great afternoon for Stones. Son ran him ragged and Spurs gave him no space to play out from the back.

Nicolas Otamendi – 5 – Like Stones, struggled with Son. Lost Alli on his goal completely when caught ball watching.

Aleksandar Kolarov – 4 – Oh dear. Shanked into his own net early on and generally had a ‘mare. Bad week for him after display at Celtic.

Fernandinho – 5 – Looked better in a deeper role but gave a PK away.

Fernando – 4- Subbed out in second half. Added little to no protection for City’s defense.

David Silva – 5- Largely anonymous and lunged into some silly challenges.

Jesus Navas – 5 – Whipped in a good cross in the first half and showed flashes of pace but no end product.

Raheem Sterling – 5 – Like Navas, brief glimpses of pace and trickery but not enough.

Sergio Aguero – 6 – Lively in attack, had several efforts saved by Lloris. No service for most of the game.

Ilkay Gundogan (on for Fernando, 53′) – 6 – Helped City control midfield a little better
Kelechi Iheanacho (on for Navas, 65′) – 6 – Had one good chance but was denied by Lloris
Leroy Sane (on for Sterling, 87′) – 5 – Didn’t get much time to make an impact

Top 25 players in the USMNT pool right now

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Christian Pulisic is the best American soccer player in the world.

Of this, there is little debate.

But there is a debate to who is second, third, and well down the line, and we’ve got our last chance to really assess the full crop with Major League Soccer now out of season for a few months.

[ USMNT: Most to gain/lose from November ]

Let’s set some ground rules:

  • The ranking is meant to illustrate who would be most likely to positively affect a USMNT match, regardless of manager or teammates, right now.
  • Health doesn’t matter to our rankings if a current injury isn’t one which could drastically alter the player’s skill set moving forward.
  • Age/potential/experience doesn’t matter either, at least not much; It’s how likely you are to contribute to the team if put on the field right now. Obviously Chris Richards of Bayern Munich II is a better long-term prospect than 32-year-old Tim Ream, but most would rather have the Fulham man in a big spot right now.

Top 25 USMNT players – November 2019

*not currently a part of USMNT squad due to injury
**not currently a part of USMNT squad due to coach’s decision

  1. Christian Pulisic, Chelsea*
  2. Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig*
  3. John Brooks, Wolfsburg
  4. Weston McKennie, Schalke
  5. Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf
  6. Sergino Dest, Ajax
  7. Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders
  8. Matt Miazga, Reading (on loan from Chelsea)**
  9. Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen
  10. Zack Steffen, Fortuna Dusseldorf (on loan from Man City)*
  11. DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United
  12. Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC*
  13. Tim Ream, Fulham
  14. Timothy Weah, Lille*
  15. Julian Green, Greuther Furth**
  16. Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders
  17. Ike Opara, Minnesota United**
  18. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC*
  19. Fabian Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach**
  20. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stoke City (on loan from Spurs)**
  21. Tyler Boyd, Besiktas
  22. Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy
  23. Miles Robinson, Atlanta United*
  24. Paul Arriola, DC United
  25. Jackson Yueill, San Jose Earthquakes

Next up, established: Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC), Eric Lichaj (Hull City), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Duane Holmes (Derby County), Bill Hamid (DC United).

Next up, youth: Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona U19), Alex Mendez (Ajax U19), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund U19), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg U19), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich II), Richie Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven), Donovan Pines (DC United), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)

Leaked image shows big fines that face Chelsea rule breakers

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Frank Lampard‘s ready to go into his players’ wallets if they disobey his laws.

A posted list of fines for Chelsea players, signed by the manager, has been confirmed and we would completely understand if the Blues were on time all the time.

[ MORE: Salah out for Egypt ]

A player is fined about $640 per minute he’s late to a meeting, and if he misses a practice, well, wow: The fine is nearly $26,000.

If a phone rings during a meeting, that’s gonna be $1,300.

And if any fine isn’t paid within two weeks, it doubles! Seems like Christian Pulisic and his teammates will have a lot of alarms set on their phones.

From The Telegraph:

Lampard has also banned agents from the training ground, unless on official business, and players must inform the club if they intend to travel abroad, even on scheduled days off.

The average Chelsea salary last season was approximately $6.6 million, meaning players make on average $127,000 per week.

The full list of fines is below.

Kompany: Liverpool’s Premier League title ghosts should ‘be to City’s advantage’

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Vincent Kompany says history could help Manchester City climb back into the Premier League title race even after his former team dropped nine points back of first place Liverpool.

[ MORE: Salah out for Egypt ]

Now at Anderlecht, the center back also said history might’ve played a role in City’s 3-1 setback at Anfield. In a rare bit of explicit honesty, the often interesting Kompany said that players do deal with demons of a club’s past.

“We always struggle at Anfield,” he said, according to Sky Sports. “I said that on Super Sunday, you’re fighting 25 years of not winning at Anfield and that’s difficult, it’s two games in one game: You’re playing a great team and you’re fighting history.”

“Flip it around and the same will happen for Liverpool. They will fight the history of not winning the league for 30 years. That should be to City’s advantage I still think.”

Do you buy that? Most of the buzz around the Premier League is that this Liverpool is a different team than even the dominant one of last season, and City has suffered big injury problems. The Reds players almost went out of their way last year to say they weren’t worried about blowing their table lead last season (which was bigger, later in the season).

Kompany also said that he believes City doesn’t need to add a center back in January, which is bonkers unless he’s coming back, but the Belgian has proven time and again that he’s one of the better minds in the game.

The guy did title  his MBA dissertation, “How professional football clubs in the Premier League can benefit from home game advantage and achieve game-changing levels of improvement” after all. Then again, I’m not sure any of our dissertations on the same topic would’ve been approved had we done that.

Liverpool’s Salah to miss Egypt’s first two AFCON qualifiers

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Good news for Liverpool, not so much for Egypt.

Mohamed Salah will not suit up for the Pharoahs this month as Egypt begins qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

[ MORE: Will Zlatan rejoin LA? ]

Salah has been dealing with ankle problems since a rough tackle from Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury, and it’s acting up following a tackle from Fernandinho in the Reds’ 3-1 defeat of Man City on Sunday.

Egypt needs Salah, but it’s no surprise he’s erring on the side of caution given the tumultuous relationship between the superstar and his country (and Liverpool’s status as a contender in five (!!) tournaments).

Salah, 27, has 41 goals in 67 caps. The next five leading active Egyptian scorers have a combined 31 goals in their careers over 284 caps. The youngest of those is Aston Villa’s Trezeguet (25), followed by Besiktas’ Mohamed Elneny (27).

Egypt are heavy favorites to finish in one of the top two spots and qualify for AFCON 2020, even with the injury. The 49th ranked Pharoahs (FIFA ranking) are in a group with Kenya (108), Togo (124) and Comoros (142).

Egypt hosts Kenya on Thursday to kick off qualification, and visits Comoros on Monday.