Matchday 2: Manchester City vs Tottenham.
Matchday 2 saw our Lilywhites travel to the Academy Stadium to take on Manchester City. Both Teams won their opening WSL matches but, after a disappointing week for City by crashing out of the Women’s Champions League, the Citizens were looking to make Tottenham pay and extend their lead at the top of the WSL table.
Highlights of last weeks opening WSL match against Birmingham can be seen on our Youtube channel.
Manchester City started in a 4-3-3 with Taieb in goal with Morgan in at right-back, Houghton and Kennedy in the centre of defence while Greenwood was in at left-back. The City midfield was made of Losada, Coombs and Stanway. The City front line was made of Beckie down the right, White in the middle and Hemp down the left.
Tottenham started in a 4-3-3 with Spencer in goal, Ale in at right-back, Bartrip and Zadorsky in the centre of defence with Neville in at left-back. The Midfield was made of Green, Percival and Clemaron. The Tottenham front 3 were made of Naz, Williams and Austrian international Kyah Simon who made her Tottenham debut.
As expected Manchester City came out dominating possession as Tottenham struggled to get out of their half. It took City just 5 minutes to threaten the Tottenham goal but good defending by Zadorksy prevented Ellen white getting to cross. As a result Greenwood took the City corner and it was met by Lauren Hemp who was unmarked heading past Spencer to give City an early lead. After a long pause in the game due to a clash between Esme Morgan and Neville, City continued to pin Tottenham back as City looked to double their lead. Neville was having a hard time dealing with Beckie as the Canadian kept getting the best of Neville and getting crosses into the Tottenham box.
City came close in 22nd minute when Hemp got the best of Ale down the left and crossed a perfect ball for White to head but Zadorksy got there ahead of the England international to head the ball out for a corner. Two minutes later City were at it again with great play by Vicky Losada to Hemp down the left by Hemp’s shot went just wide of Spencer’s post. Less than a minute later Tottenham were almost punished when Neville had the ball stolen by Stanway on the edge of the Tottenham box before shooting as her shot bounced back out after hitting the outside of Spencers left post. Asmita Ale was struggling down the right against Hemp as the England international was getting past the teenager with ease and on 30 minutes good play by Hemp found Angeldal’s head but her effort was superbly saved by Spencer in the Tottenham goal. A minute later Hemp again got the best of Ale and crossed deep into the Tottenham box but Beckie who was unmarked was unable to reach it as Tottenham were let off.
Tottenham had a rare half chance in the 39th minute when good play by Naz down the right played a through ball to Kyah Simon down the centre of the City defence but former Tottenham player Kennedy came across to cover and just got to the ball before Simon putting the ball out for a corner. After the collision between Neville and Morgan at the start of the game the 4th official indicated a minimum of 8 minutes injury time. Beckie could have again doubled City’s lead in the 49th minute when Greenwood got the best of Ale and found Beckie in the Tottenham box but fortunately for Tottenham, the Canadian hit her effort with so much power she missed the target. Spencer came to Tottenham’s rescue again in the 52nd minute when a Greenwood corner was met by Alanna Kennedy but a fantastic save by Spencer’s denied the former Tottenham player a goal on her debut.
Tottenham made a change at half time with Chi coming on for Green. City dominated the opening 5 minutes of the second half but Tottenham finally started to get into the game and had their first chance of the game in the 56th minute when a clever ball over the top by Ale found Percival but her shot was straight at Taieb in the City goal. Tottenham made their second change of the match in the 59th minute when Graham replaced Simon. Kit had an immediate impact on the game and a minute after coming on Graham played a great pass to Chi who held up play well before picking out Williams in the City box as Williams shot past Taieb to put Tottenham level.
Tottenham started to gain more control of the midfield after the goal as they bagan to created more chances but City were always going to be a danger and in the 75th minute City had a chance when Shaw played a 1-2 with Park, Zadorksy thought about making the challenge but didn’t want to give away a penalty and Park was denied just before pulling the trigger. A minute later City were at it again when a shot from Stanway from distance was stopped well by Spencer to deny the England international. 5 minutes later City came again looking for a winner, Ale who improved in the second half was caught short but Hemp who found Angeldal but the Swedish international hit her effort so hard it flew over the Tottenham bar un-troubling Spencer. Tottenham brought on the always dangerous Angela Addison in the 83rd minute replacing Jessica Naz. It took Addison just 3 minutes to have an impact on the game when in the 86th minute after good player by Addison down the right, crossed into the City box finding Ayane who headed the ball pass Taieb to give Tottenham the 2-1 lead. Replays showed that the ball came off Ayane’s hands before hitting Houghton and being turned into her own net but due to no VAR in the women’s game the goal was given as Tottenham got away with that controversial goal.
City came straight back at Tottenham looking for the equaliser with Shaw one on one with Spencer but the Tottenham stopper stood strong to deny her Jamaican team mate. The 4th official indicated a minimum of 7 minutes injury time, City threw everything at Tottenham and in the 93rd minute after Zadorksy left the pitch injured, White had her first clear chances of the game but was unable to connect and turn in the cross for the equaliser. Tottenham’s defence held strong as our Lilywhites closed the final minutes by just getting rid of the ball upfield as Graham held up play deep in the City half before the game came to an end and Tottenham recorded their first ever win against top opposition and ending City’s 33 unbeaten run.
Player of the match.
This was a tough one because Spencer was superb between the sticks for Tottenham and had it not been for her Tottenham could have gone into the break at least 3 down but our player of the match is split has to go to our captain Zadorksy and Spencer. Shelina was everywhere and before her injury made sure to not let Ellen white have a sniff at goal and did superbly in covering Neville as she struggled to cope with Beckie down the right. Therefore our player of the match goes to Spencer and Zadorksy.
Post match analysis.
We saw two different Tottenham sides against City, the Tottenham that we expected to get dominated by City and in the second half a Tottenham that we expect to push top opposition. Tottenham did ride their luck at times and had it not been for Spencer and Zadorsky it could have been game over by half time. Let’s not take anything away from Tottenham, they showed a fighting spirit that they lacked last season and responded in the second half in a way unknown to most Tottenham fans. Lets remember that City were missing many key players like Walsh, Bronze and Kelly but City have a bench stronger than most squads first teams. Yes Tottenham rode their luck and any other night it would have been over before half-time but credit has to go to Skinner and the team for how they responded in the second half.
We have to wait to see what this Tottenham team is capable of as its only 2 games and we have a lot of new signing that still need time to gel together. If we have learnt something from the first two WSL matches its that Chi and and Addison need to start down either wing with Graham behind the forward, while Naz and Williams need to be substitutes. Another criticism is that maybe Harrop should be playing at left-back as Neville has not been her self for a while now and is becoming a liability in the Tottenham defence.
We understand that the squad is still new and getting to know one another but Tottenham needs to start matches against big opposition like they played in the second half. Tottenham can not rely on good fortune in every big match and if they want to push the top teams they need to start big matches on the front foot. We won’t be too critical as this is a historical moment and last season Tottenham were a victim of bad fortune but we would like to see Tottenham do what Manchester United did last season and push top opposition convincingly by showing that they can compete with the likes of Chelsea, City and Arsenal. With time Tottenham can get there with a few tweaks to be the starting 11. For now, we will enjoy this historical moment, congratulations to the team we are very proud of your achievements and we can’t wait to see you against Reading at the Hive COYS.
Season ticket update.
Many have been wondering what is happening regarding 2021-22 season tickets. Tottenham have announced that those who have purchased a 2021/22 Women’s Season Ticket will be receiving their Season Ticket cards in the post during the week commencing September 20th. If there are any issue contact Tottenham directly and they will be able to arrange for season ticket cards to be collected at the Hive before the Reading game on September 26th.
There is no WSL action next week so we have to wait until September 26th to see our Lilywhites take on Reading at the Hive. The match will be broadcast live on the FA Player and will kick-off at 14:00pm. Tickets for that match are available at https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/tickets/buy-tickets/women/match-tickets/ prices are set at £6.50 for adults, £4.50 for young adults and £3.50 for concession.
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Tottenham vs Reading