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Football London
Football London
Rob Guest

Mahrez embarrasses Perisic, new Emerson chant - 5 things spotted in Man City vs Tottenham

Huge hint over midfield pecking order

Antonio Conte's squad selection for Tottenham's Premier League game away at Man City appears to highlight that the midfield pecking order has changed at the club. Starting his first-choice pairing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur again following the latter's return from injury, Pape Matar Sarr dropped out of the team that lost against Arsenal last weekend.

Named on the bench after his omission from the team, the Senegal international was joined there by Yves Bissouma. That meant Oliver Skipp was the unlucky player to drop out of the 20-man squad altogether.

Previously fourth-choice following Bissouma's summer arrival, Sarr's recent rise has worked against Skipp and he has lost his place in the matchday squad as a result. One of Conte's starting midfielders before Bentancur joined from Juventus 12 months ago, the England Under-21s ace desperately needs to rediscover his top form when minutes eventually come his way again.

READ MORE: Tottenham player ratings vs Manchester City: Perisic shocker after Kulusevski and Emerson goals

Romero tackle

Handed an early booking after a foul on Manuel Akanji, Cristian Romero was again walking the tightrope for the vast majority of the game. Always going to be a tough evening for the player with Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez in City's attack, the World Cup winner had to be very careful indeed going into tackles.

Midway through the first half with City hitting Spurs on the counter, he timed a tackle to perfection as he stopped Jack Grealish going through on goal. The England international, who had a good head start on his opponent, looked destined to get into the area and test Hugo Lloris, but that wasn't to be the case as Romero came from nowhere to win the ball with a perfect tackle.

It was almost celebrated like a goal in the away end with a huge cheer erupting from the stand after Romero had denied Grealish right in front of the travelling army.

Classy Bentancur

Last featuring in a Tottenham shirt in the 4-3 win against Leeds United ahead of the World Cup, Bentancur was back in the starting XI after his injury layoff. Such an important player to the Lilywhites, as has been highlighted multiple times already this season, the Uruguayan star once again made a huge difference to Spurs' fortunes.

Adding that extra bit of quality and composure in midfield that has been missing in recent weeks, the ex-Juventus man made life incredibly difficult for the hosts with his relentless pressing. That was very much the case in the 44th minute as he helped Tottenham win the ball off Rodri after Ederson had sold his man short with a poor pass, thus leading to Dejan Kulusevski scoring the opener at the Etihad Stadium for the second season in a row.

New chant for Emerson

Emerson Royal was presented with a spot in the Tottenham team against Man City after having to watch on from the bench recently. Behind Matt Doherty in the race for the right-back berth, the Republic of Ireland international was feeling unwell during the week but had recovered enough for a place on the bench.

Enduring a bit of a rough time of late with some boos coming his way when he has been on the pitch, Tottenham fans had a brand new chant for him after he doubled Spurs' lead in first-half stoppage time. Cries of "Emerson Royal, he scores when he wants" could be heard coming from the away end after he was in the right place at the right time to head home after Ederson could only parry the ball into his path.

A very nice moment for the player after a tough few weeks, he may find himself back in the team when Spurs travel to Fulham on Monday evening.

Perisic struggles

In a very promising position at the break with a 2-0 lead at the home of the Premier League champions, the game turned on its head in the space of 18 minutes. Reducing the deficit six minutes after the restart through Alvarez, Haaland then levelled the scores two minutes later with a header.

Ten minutes later and City were in front after Riyad Mahrez burst into the area and fired in low at Hugo Lloris' near post. Tottenham had in fact had a glorious opportunity to take the lead seconds earlier but Rico Lewis got a crucial touch to Ivan Perisic's low effort to turn it on to the post.

The Croat very much had a second half to forget as Mahrez got the better of him for all three goals. Gliding past him on the edge of the area for the first, the Algerian then used his strength to hold off his opponent and head across the face of the goal for Haaland.

The third goal he will not want to see again after racing out for a crossfield-pass and not winning the ball, thus gifting the City winger possession and the chance to run at Ben Davies and net beyond Lloris. Add to that his missed opportunity at the other end, it wasn't a good day at all for the summer addition.


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