Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City, beyond it restarting the Premier League title race and proving Pep Guardiola is beatable, was the recipient of the man of the match award.
During Sky Sports’ coverage of the top-of-the-table clash, Jamie Redknapp tried to remember a match when choosing the who to hand post-match champagne to was such a head scratcher.
Eventually, after highlighting Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen’s solidity at the heart of the defence, Redknapp’s commentary colleague Gary Neville plumped for Victor Wanyama. It was absolutely the right decision.
In summarising the match for the television audience, Neville said:
“I’ve not seen many teams run at the speed and with the level of tackling Spurs did. They were incessantly relentless, they put their foot in, they risked giving fouls away and being beaten but then they knew their mate was going to be behind them.”
No home player was better in that department than Wanyama. In the first half particularly, only The Flash could have covered the pitch quicker than the Kenyan, as he tore around midfield to harass City’s players and disrupt their rhythm.
It was the former Southampton agitator’s tackle on Fernandinho that led to the opening goal and Wanyama would continue to set the tone for Spurs’ frenetic style with five other challenges over the course of the match.
If the 25-year-old wasn’t able to win the ball back for his new north London side, he ensured City got no further with their attack.
Along with his team-high six tackles, Wanyama also topped the charts for both clubs with five fouls.
It gave Spurs the platform for a victory that moves them one point behind Guardiola’s men and in to 9/1 to win the top-flight title.
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