- Tottenham lead after a close first leg
- Sergio Aguero misses a penalty
- City still yet to beat an English team in European competition
Manchester City still look in good shape for a remarkable quadruple, especially after winning a tricky looking game at Crystal Palace at the weekend.
But it will be on the line again on Wednesday, April, 17 at 3:00pm EST when they face Tottenham in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.
Sonny the Hero
The north London team take a narrow 1-0 lead into the second leg after Son Heung-min scored the only goal of the game late in the second half of last week’s game in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham vs Man City Leg 2 Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds To Qualify|
|Manchester City||-1.5 (-115)||-335||O 3.0 (-140)||-155|
|Tottenham Hotspur||+1.5 (-105)||+850||U 3.0 (-115)||+110|
*Odds taken on April 15, 2019
City, as shown above, head into the game as favorites to both win the game and also to qualify for the semifinal. The bookies think Tottenham’s lead is a little too slender for comfort and expect City to win the game by two or more goals in normal time.
— Sportswallah (@TheSportswallah) April 10, 2019
Big Test for City
We think it will be a closer affair than the bookies though and can see City’s quadruple credentials being tested more than they have been at any time this season.
Only when they were 2-0 down at Swansea in their FA Cup quarterfinal – a game they eventually won 3-2 – have they looked in any danger of blowing it.
FT Swansea 2-3 Man City
It's heartbreak for Swansea as Pep Guardiola's side fight back from 2-0 down to keep the quadruple dream alive.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 16, 2019
Interestingly, Spurs’ win last week saw them move equal with City for the total number of wins in this fixture – both sides are now level on 61 each.
Tottenham vs Manchester City Leg 1 Stats
|4||Shots On Target||2|
It also extended the Cityzens’ poor run against English teams in European competitions to five defeats in five games. It’s a poor run that has to end if they are to progress in this season’s competition.
Costly Missed Pen
This scenario could have been very different if City’s Sergio Aguero had converted an early penalty at the Tottenham Stadium. However, he was foiled by a fine save from Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris.
As it transpired, that was the closest City came to a goal all evening and with Tottenham’s defense handling City’s usually rampant attack really well, it was hard to argue that Mauricio Pochettino’s men were not fully deserving of the win.
Marginal Gain in Spurs’ Favor
Both teams had Premier League wins at the weekend. City’s 3-1 win at Palace was more than matched by Spurs’ crushing 4-0 demolition of already-relegated Huddersfield.
But unlike City, Spurs were able to rest key players ahead of Wednesday’s game. Also, the fact they played on Saturday and City on Sunday, will have given the Spurs’ players an extra days’ rest.
FT: Tottenham 4 Huddersfield 0
No Harry Kane, no problem for Spurs.
Lucas Moura stepped up with a hat-trick as the home side swept aside sorry Huddersfield to go third in the Premier League.
— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) April 13, 2019
So, while the form book suggests that City at home against almost anyone is a banker win, we can see a few of the marginal gains already tilting this in Spurs’ favor.
Let’s not underestimate the psychological impact of City never having beaten another English side in European competition.
It was hard to argue that Mauricio Pochettino’s men were not fully deserving of the first-leg win.
Tottenham also have the experience of drawing in Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium to feed off; a game that was played under extreme pressure, as defeat would have seen them knocked out of the competition. Back then, Spurs’ fans took this as a sign that this was going to be their year.
FT Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham
Inter's draw with PSV means Spurs are THROUGH to the last 16 of the Champions League.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 11, 2018
No Kane but No Problem
The loss of leading scorer Harry Kane through injury looks, on paper at least, to have hit Spurs hard. But as a team they performed better without their talisman when he was injured for a few weeks in January/February. As a cohesive unit, it has to be said that they looked as good if not better without his presense.
Narrowest of Margins
So, despite City being favorites, we have a strong feeling that Spurs can see this one through, helped by the fact City didn’t score an away goal in the first leg. A 2-1 win for City would end their European drought but would see Tottenham go through on the away goals rule, and that’s what we predict will happen.
Our pick: Tottenham to qualify (+110)