Spurs fall yet again at the final hurdle
- Credit: PA
Tottenham Hotspur were unable to end their trophy drought in the League Cup final against Manchester City – the best team in the land over the course of this season.
Aymeric Laporte nodded home the only goal of the game late in the second half. The Frenchman was somewhat lucky to be on the pitch, as some would argue his two fouls on Lucas Moura in the first half were both worthy of a booking.
That being said, City were fully deserving of the victory, they dominated proceedings from the first whistle to the last and their breakthrough was just a matter of when, not if.
In just his second game as interim head coach of Spurs, Ryan Mason opted for Harry Winks and Giovani Lo Celso over the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli, suggesting he wanted his midfield to keep better hold of the ball.
If that was what he was looking for he would have been disappointed from the off. His side struggled in possession, giving the ball away cheaply to the City press.
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Pep Guardiola made it a record equalling four consecutive League Cup wins. The form his side have been in, coupled with the events that occurred in N17 over the past week, made the blues firm favourites for the trophy.
They were professional from the get-go and never really gave Spurs a chance to settle in. Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden were the biggest threats in the opening stages while Riyad Mahrez really began to influence things as he got into the game.
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Having sacked a man who has only ever lost one final in England, in Jose Mourinho, Spurs played in a style very similar to that which ultimately cost Mourinho his job.
With the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son barely involved across the 90 minutes, it poses the question of what could have been. Having frustrated City for large parts of the game perhaps a Mourinho side that have already beaten Guardiola’s side once this season would have been more suited to the task at hand.
Now the only thing that remains to fight for in the Lilywhites' campaign is Champions League qualification. Mason will have a big task at hand to keep his squad motivated and outperform the likes of Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and West Ham.
Crucially, the end to their season could determine whether star striker Kane remains at the club or looks for opportunities elsewhere in his quest for silverware. So Mason has it all to play for in the final few matches.