Premier League 2021/22: Mighty defenders of the title succumb to a Kane-less squad

Defenders of the title Manchester City had a fantastic campaign in the previous season. As each new Premier League season approaches, the defenders of the title are expected to retain the same drive that they won the league with and deliver impressive performances. However, the Blues are off to a sloppy start, given their loss at the hands of Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

On the other hand, Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham was off to a great start, managing to defeat champions Manchester City with a fantastic shot, courtesy of Heung-Min Son. Many noticed the absence of Harry Kane, who exited isolation this week and rejoined the Spurs’ ranks for training. The star striker, also named in Sportingbet’s list of Europe’s deadliest strikers, has been staying at Spurs’ training ground hotel, the Lodge. Since he was required to isolate upon his return from the Bahamas, where he was on holiday, the England captain was unable to join his teammates as they faced Manchester City on Sunday.

However, as much of an asset Harry Kane is, it seems his team wasn’t too fazed too much from his absence. Spurs were able to implement the strategy that they usually do, which involves allowing City to dominate the balls in certain areas, but since they are void of any tactical strikers, it is hard for them to operate in tight spaces. Although Manchester City is reportedly hoping for Kane to join their ranks, they will have to make the most out of the £100 million arrivals of Jack Grealish.

Many City fans were enjoying their trip to London, chanting to taunt their opponents with the chants: “Harry Kane, he wants to be Blue”. For now, Grealish looks promising and gave a solid debut, displaying some of the many abilities for which he was recruited. He was able to carry the ball well and created many chances that the Blues failed to capitalize on. Most of all, the former Aston Villa captain won free-kicks in lethal positions.

The sole goal of the game was a relief to watch for Spurs fans and an anxiety-provoking one for Man City’s. Son was able to receive the ball on the far-right side, and his impressive shot managed to find its way past Ederson, winner of the golden glove 2021, and into the back of the net. Several attempts were made, such as the 84th minute shot from Kevin De Bruyne and an insufficient attempt from Grealish, but the night was Tottenham’s to take.

Could this be a start to a rather unimpressive season from City? Of course, it is too early to tell. Pep Guardiola commented on his team’s performance saying:

“We (City) started really well, and after 20 minutes, we allowed them (Tottenham) too much running in the transition, and it’s a team like Nuno did with Wolves,” said Guardiola in his post-match press conference, as quoted by Alasdair Gold.

“You see the same stats every time we come to Tottenham. We play well every game except the first (Mauricio) Pochettino game (in 2016) at White Hart Lane. It’s difficult to control them because of the transitions.”

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