Michael Owen wasn’t best pleased with Emerson Royal’s defending during Tottenham Hotspur’s extraordinary 3-3 draw against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

The topic before the game was. Will Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham continue in their current ways and play on the front foot? Before the match, Michael Owen said they couldn’t.

Well, Spurs did just what they set out to do and play on the front foot, but despite taking the lead after six minutes, they were 2-1 down after 31 minutes.

The defending from Tottenham, especially for Phil Foden’s goal, wasn’t anything to applaud, with Michael Owen critical of Emerson Royal and how the defending was like ‘an under eight’s game’, as he told Premier League Productions (03/12/23 at 5:25 pm).

If you thought the defending from the stand-in Spurs centre-back was poor, well, Yves Bissouma took it up another level for Manchester City’s third goal after he tried to play out from the back.

The former Brighton midfielder would have been breathing a sigh of relief when Dejan Kulusevski scored a stunning equaliser and yet another goal against the champions of England.

But this is what Michael Owen made of Emerson Royal’s defending today.

Tottenham’s defending against Manchester City

“I would say this is more poor from Tottenham,” said Owen on Man City’s second goal. “Starting with the clearance (from Emerson Royal) there.

“The body shape. Some people playing the offside trap, some weren’t and it was like an under 8’s goal. They just walked it in. It was probably a left foot clearance that, wasn’t it from Emerson?”

Tottenham without James Maddison and Micky van de Ven

To think that Spurs are without such crucial players, such as James Maddison and Micky van de Ven, yet they are putting up performances like that, is pretty incredible.

After losing three Premier League games on the bounce, many were expecting it to be four at the Etihad and a pretty heavy one.

And whilst there were goals galore, it was a deserved point for Postecoglou and his side, who showed restraint, calmness and control in the second half.

They could have and probably should have been out of sight after 45 minutes. But they kept plugging away and, once again, it was their attacking play that kept them going.







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