A flop from either would’ve been understandable given the 7-goal thriller at midweek, but both provided fine accounts of themselves as Phil Foden was the match-winner.
Ederson: 9 – *Man of the Match* here was plenty of luck in his thwarting of Lucas Moura‘s late deflected strike, but the Brazilian will enjoy a clean sheet following Wednesday’s second leg.
Kyle Walker: 6 – Would VAR have him conceding a second half penalty for handball?
John Stones: 6 – Not terrific, though his partial block that led to Ederson’s last big save was bigger than we realize.
Aymeric Laporte: 7 – A notable error between Laporte and Stones late takes this down a point, but he was huge along with Ederson in the early stages.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 7 – Is City in the UEFA Champions League semifinal with a healthy Zinchenko in place of Mendy, Delph, et. al.
Kevin De Bruyne (Off 38′): N/A – His injury will be alarming for City, given recurring knee troubles this season.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6 – An unspectacular display as time ticks down on his career at City.
Phil Foden: 8 – The fifth-minute header could hardly have been a more important first Premier League goal.
Bernardo Silva: 8 – A delightful dribble and cross to the back post set up the opener, as the Portuguese playmaker continues a fine season.
Sergio Aguero (Off 66′): 7 – Perhaps a bit quieter than usual, but his headed assist was what City needed early at the Etihad.
Raheem Sterling: 7 – Absolutely in the discussion for Premier League Player of the Season, and has been switched on from moment one.
Subs Fernandinho (On 38′): 7 – Easy to applaud anyone who comes on for an hour off the bench and doesn’t miss a beat. Broke up some serious Spurs threats. Leroy Sane (On 66′): 7 – Short spell, but effective. Should’ve collected an assist for his set-up of Sterling
Paulo Gazzaniga: 7 – Solid enough and made a great point-blank save in the second half from Sterling.
Juan Foyth: 7 – A little lost at right back early on, but worked hard and made some important tackles against Sterling and improved as the game went on.
Davinson Sanchez: 6 – See above. Solid on his return to the starting lineup. Maybe could have done better on the goal as Aguero peeled off him.
Toby Alderweireld: 7 – As dependable as ever. Good block from Aguero in the second half, which had a hint of handball, but the Belgian knew nothing about it.
Jan Vertonghen: 7 – Dominant display and tried his best to get Spurs moving forward when he could.
Ben Davies: 6 – Struggled to cope with Bernardo Silva, but then again most defenders have this season.
Eric Dier: 5 – Has been out with injury for a while, and looked rusty on his return to central midfield.
Christian Eriksen: 7 – Some lovely balls forward for Son, and he was denied by Ederson in the first half when he should have probably scored.
Dele Alli: 6 – A few majestic flicks in the first half, and appealed for a penalty kick on Kyle Walker. Looked a little jaded, which is understandable.
Lucas Moura: 7 – Hurried and chased all game long, and nearly got in to score in the second half but Ederson denied him.
Heung-Min Son: 6 – Another sharp display, but will be disappointed he didn’t score after having three big chances in the first half. Led Spurs’ charge on the counter attack.
Subs Danny Rose: 6 – Did okay and brought his usual energy to the left back position. Victor Wanyama: 5 – Booked. Did his best to provide a better shield than Dier in front of the Spurs defense. Fernando Llorente: 5 – Hardly touched the ball in his brief cameo on the pitch. No hip/arm touches today…
There’s plenty on the line in Sunday’s high-profile matchup between Manchester City and Chelsea. Meanwhile, in the first match of the morning, surging Tottenham takes on Leicester City side that is winless in its last five.
After a week in which Manchester City defeated Arsenal and Everton in somewhat comfortable fashion, Pep Guardiola‘s side faces a new, even tougher test.
It was only Huddersfield Town last week, but Chelsea looked back to its best once again in its 5-0 victory, with Gonzalo Higuain already looking like a terrific fit at the top of Chelsea’s attack. Higuain’s addition will take up a lot of Manchester City’s mental energy as they plan to face Chelsea, which could leave more space for Juninho to quarterback the Blues attack or for Eden Hazard and Willian to break down the wings on the counter attack.
Then again, this is Manchester City. Guardiola has his team firing on all cylinders. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are set to return to the starting lineup. Manchester City can set a new Premier League record if they score two goals; it will be their 15th consecutive home match with at least two goals scored.
Though this is the Premier League, this game could be played with some caution. Both teams face each other again later this month at Wembley Stadium in the Carabao Cup final.
Tottenham v. Leicester City — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
They won’t be on the field, but Harry Kane and Dele Alli gave Tottenham a huge boost this week by returning to training. That could be just what the team needs as it makes a mid-season push to stay in the top four, and potentially – who knows?! – try and win the Premier League title. Tottenham can win its fourth successive Premier League match and could come within two points of Man City before it plays Chelsea. Despite cup defeats in late January, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side has found a way to win in each of its last three league matches, all one-goal victories.
On the other side, Leicester City has dropped to 12th in the table as discontent for manager Claude Puel grows. Leicester hasn’t won a match since New Year’s Day, but they suffered a narrow loss to Manchester United and drew with Liverpool, perhaps showing some improvement, even without the result. Youri Tielemens appears to have improved the midfield, and Jamie Vardy has a great history facing Tottenham. He’s scored four goals with three assists in his last seven matches against Spurs.
Spurs has won all 12 PL games this season vs current bottom half
Newcastle has lost 7 straight trips to Wembley (last win: 1955 FA Cup final)
Two teams breathing sighs of relief at opposite ends of the table meet as Tottenham Hotspur hosts Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.
Spurs got back to winning ways last time out, but it required a comeback to do so, and all is not settled in North London. The last five Tottenham matches across all competitions have featured three losses, a last-gasp win against relegation-threatened Fulham, and a late come-from-behind win against Watford. They hold a solid seven-point lead over fourth-placed Arsenal but every match feels more important than the last given the recent form.
In addition, the dire injury situation has not been relieved, and if anything it has worsened. Still without Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Ben Davies who are suffering from long-term issues, now Heung-Min Son‘s status is in question after suffering from cramps. The South Korean has been heavily utilized the last few months after international duty in the Asian Cup, and could be feeling the effects of overuse.
For Newcastle, a win over Manchester City last time out – a second consecutive victory – has the Magpies with a pep in their step, but the job is far from done. They still sit just five points above the drop, very much still involved in the relegation scrap. Still, the pair of victories has Newcastle feeling much more confident, and another result against a top club could give them a true boost heading into the final third of the season.
New signing Miguel Almiron will not be available for this weekend’s match, still waiting on the completion of his work visa. Antonio Barreca, meanwhile, could make his debut on loan from Monaco, and Joselu could make his way back into the squad after missing out on the Man City win with an ankle problem.
What they’re saying
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on title chances: “We are going to dream because we are close, we are there in a very good position and we are going to try and fight until the end to be as high as we can.”
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on turning fortunes: “I am happier now than one week ago. Why? We beat Man City and we brought in two players.”
These two teams will have a difficult and entertaining battle. With both sides still in a bit of flux, there’s plenty riding on the match. Despite that, a draw would be considered decent result for both sides given the cushion they both now hold over those below. A 1-1 draw seems a fair result, given Spurs’ spotty home form over the past few weeks.
Maurizio Sarri‘s team had the perfect response at home after a rough defeat last weekend to Arsenal.
Chelsea overcame Tottenham, 4-2 on penalty kicks in the League Cup semifinal after the tie was locked at 2-2 on aggregate after 180 minutes of action. Eric Dier skied one penalty, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga saved one from Spurs winger Lucas Moura, and David Luiz put the finishing touches to send Chelsea to the League Cup final on February 24 at Wembley Stadium in London. Awaiting Chelsea in the final is Manchester City, who recorded an impressive 10-0 aggregate victory over Burton Albion in the other semifinal.
Chelsea got off to a quick start on home ground and took the game to Mauricio Pochettino‘s banged up Spurs. In the 27th minute, off a corner kick, Chelsea finally struck gold. A corner kick from Eden Hazard was cleared to the top of the box, where N'Golo Kante rifled a shot home that went through three (3!) pairs of legs before slipping past Paulo Gazzaniga and in for a goal.
Hazard followed that up with a side-footed finish of his own, giving Chelsea the 2-1 lead on aggregate just 40 minutes into the game.
But in the second half, Fernando Llorente connected with a flying header into the box to tie the score on aggregate. Chelsea came close on a few more occasions in the second half, but the score was deadlocked at two each.
The defeat is insult to go with the injury, as two players limped off injured during the match, Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko, leaving Tottenham with even fewer players available for the next stage of the season. Mauricio Pochettino’s silver lining, if there is any, is now he can focus on the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League, but he’ll rue losing another chance to get an elusive piece of silverware.