Five Things We Learned: Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City (Premier League)

Danny Lardner

Pep Guardiola's lacklustre Blues were bested by Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur side by two goals to nil. Goals from Heung Min-Son and Giovani Lo Celso handed Spurs the win, their second 2-0 win against City in a row.

City were denied an equalising goal at 1-0 after the VAR judged that Gabriel Jesus used his arm to control Rodri's cross. After doubling their lead, Spurs safely saw out the rest of the game without any major threats from City's attack.

Here are five important takeaways from City's second loss of the season...


Mahrez doesn't deserve a spot in this team

Unless you're commenting on City's Facebook posts from your flat in Algiers, you will have noticed the detrimental effect that Mahrez has had on City's attack in the last few weeks. This issue continued into the game last night.

In fact, it was probably the Algerian's worst performance in a City shirt that I've ever watched.

While Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus at least looked halfway positive when they got the ball, you never felt as though Mahrez would create anything significant when he received the ball. A few games out of the team might do him well - he's played in all but two games this season and both Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres deserve the spot more based on current form.

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(Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Walker is far from perfect

Kyle Walker doesn't get enough credit in my opinion. He's been one of our standout players so far and, since City have scored only 10 league goals this season, he has a very good shout to be named our best player so far this campaign.

But he is a little error-prone, and he essentially neglected his defensive duties for Spurs' second. After City lost the ball he jogged back pretty lazily, leaving a big gap at the right side of defence that Kevin de Bruyne tried and failed to fill.

For someone who has a fantastic ability to cover space during opposition counter-attacks, it is disappointing to see Walker still in the Tottenham half when Lo Celso finished past Ederson.

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(Photo by Clive Rose / POOL / AFP)

We still can't beat a low block

Despite starting quite strongly with some dangerous movements, City's forward line, especially in the second half, had almost no idea how to break down Spurs' very good defence.

Often it takes a particularly incisive and inventive moment of brilliance from the likes of Kevin de Bruyne or Raheem Sterling to open up the low block. For a long time now, City have faced up to a low block with no ideas in their back pocket and no plan B apart from repeatedly crossing the ball in.

These issues are compounded, as they were tonight, when City come up against a strong team who know how to defend well and, crucially, hit back on the counter-attack very effectively. How many more times will this happen this season?

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(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Phil Foden needs to play more... still.

It's been the go-to plan for City fans in recent months - if the game isn't going well, get Phil Foden on. Guardiola's apparent reluctance to bring on the youngster has many fans complaining.

His introduction after 72 minutes didn't turn the game on its head, but he definitely looked fresh and lively, as he almost always does.

Guardiola was handed a two-year extension to his contract this week - if fans still feel unhappy with Guardiola's disinclination to give Foden a bigger role, many will fear for the 20-year-old's development

(Photo by Martin Rickett - Pool/Getty Images)

A mental block vs Spurs?

Recent results against Spurs haven't just been poor, but they have often been plagued with controversy and uproar. Thankfully last night's game was free from this problem and the only thing City fans can complain about was the team performance.

The showing last night raises a different issue - are City suffering from a psychological problem regarding Spurs? Their recent controversial wins have left a sour taste in a few mouths, and the fixture grows in stature every time it's played. That's without even mentioning the Pep-Jose dimension...

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