A fifth-minute Riyad Mahrez goal sealed a crucial three points for Manchester City as they ran out 1-0 winners against Tottenham on Monday night.
Tottenham played well throughout the match, but they were unable to match for City who dug deep to win the game in ugly fashion. Spurs had a chance to level things late on, but Erik Lamela’s shot seemed to take a bobble on the torn up Wembley surface, as the Argentine blasted over the bar.
Here are four things we learned from the encounter.
4. Pochettino Is Starting to Look Unhappy
Pochettino admitted before the game that he is enduring a rough period at Spurs and he cut a despondent figure on the touchline against the Citizens.
He has endured a disappointing summer window, a delayed stadium rebuild and has seen Spurs capitulate in the Champions League. A win over City would have given him and Spurs a major lift, but all it did was dampen the mood.
This defeat will no doubt deject Pochettino further, and with a vacant Real Madrid job up for grabs, this may be the time his head is finally turned.
3. The Pitch Played its Part
The Wembley surface has taken a pounding over the last few weeks, with NFL games tearing up the surface at the national stadium.
It had just hosted the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars 24 hours previous and the turf looked worse for at kick off, with the NFL logo still showing through the brown surface.
Erik Lamela will most likely blame the park for his awful miss against City, which could have been mistaken for a field goal attempt.
If he had converted his kick, it would have been enough to secure a precious point for the home side.
2. Stellar Sterling
Raheem Sterling made his 200th Premier League appearance for City, and looked much more mature than the tender age of 23, with another fine display.
His first 20 minutes were electrifying, causing havoc for Kieran Trippier who struggled to keep up with his England teammate for much of the game.
The English winger has now netted three times and notched four assists this season, as he continues to play a pivotal role in Pep Guardiola’s side.
1. Carabao Cup Conundrum
Both Tottenham and City now have little time to prepare for their Carabao Cup clashes during the week.
Tottenham are back in action on Wednesday to take on West Ham, while Manchester City host Fulham on Thursday night.
Neither of these fixtures come at an ideal time for Spurs or City, with both having a more careful eye on their Premier League and Champions League campaigns. Both sides will have the predicament of going out to progress to the next round and risk injury, or save key players and risk elimination at the hands of inferior opposition.