League Cup Final highlights 2021: Man City 1-0 Tottenham – An inevitable result

Ollie Irish

26th, April 2021

How was this going to end any differently? The best club side in Europe, managed by an elite head coach who may well go down as the greatest manager of all time, against Ryan Mason’s Spurs: lads, what did anyone expect but a comfortable City win? As soon as the Tottenham team-sheet was made public, it was clear that they had almost no chance. You can’t play Harry Winks in midfield for 90 minutes at Wembley and expect a miracle.

Don’t be fooled by the tight scoreline – this was an embarrassingly one-sided match, summed up perfectly for me when Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg – a useful but very limited footballer – played a woefully over-hit pass to the over-lapping Sergio Reguilon, and then had a mini-tantrum at Reguilon for not collecting it. Most of the time the contest resembled a sadistic cat tormenting an exhausted mouse.

I don’t have the energy to say much more about it. Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden led Spurs a merry dance, several Spurs players didn’t show up (Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, notably), and that was about it. Sure, you can argue that Aymeric Laporte, who scored City’s winner, was lucky not to be booked twice, but then he wouldn’t have made the second tackle (for which he was booked) if he had already been shown a yellow card for the first one, so it’s moot. And anyway, City could have played the whole game with ten against eleven and they would still have won, I’m absolutely certain.

With hindsight, this was the one fixture for Spurs this season which undoubtedly played to Jose Mourinho’s strengths, and of course – peak Spurs – he wasn’t on the touchline. I wonder what he made of it. Mason was way out of his depth, understandably so, and his muddled substitutions (taking off Lucas and Lo Celso, two of Spurs’ best performers; leaving Harry Winks on; not using Tanguy Ndombele at all!) proved as much.

I won’t say Spurs bottled it as I never gave them a prayer in this match, but you can add it to the list of finals they’ve played in in the modern era where they didn’t turn up at all. *Sighs in Levy*.

P.S. When Gareth Southgate starts Raheem Sterling ahead of Foden in England’s first match of the Euros, resist the urge to kick a hole in your television.

Man of the match: Riyad Mahrez (City).

Match highlights:

Posted in League Cup, Man City, Tottenham Hotspur

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