With international stars flooding the Premier League, non more so than at Manchester City, you often hear critics ridiculing the lack of influence of British (particularly English) players in the league. They are wrong.
Watching the Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur game, I have been impressed with the performances of the British players. Despite top quality international names appearing for both sides, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric to name but a few, it has been the Brits that have bossed the game.
After a quiet first half, which City had the better of the chances, the players who stood out for me where the City central midfield paring of Gareth Barry and James Milner. The pair linked well with the more ‘creative’ players in the lineup to attempt to break the stalemate.
The second half continued with the British dominating the internationals. Suprs’ Kyle Walker made a bursting run down the wing, looking threatening. Scott Parker also looked like he could break the deadlock. However, it was who City took a 2-nil lead thanks to Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott.
However, Spurs rallied. Jermaine Defoe pestered young Montenegrin centre back Stefan Savic, forcing a mistake that lead to the Englishman to pull a goal back. The goal of the game came from Welshman Gareth Bale. After a good run from Aaron Lennon, Bale curled the ball passed the out-stretched arm of Joe Hart.
Spurs continued to press forward looking for a winner. And they were the better side after the equaliser. Lennon, Bale, Parker and Defoe all looked troubling for the Man City defence, who looked weakened without their captain Vincent Kompany. Italian striker Mario Balotelli should have been sent off 10 minutes before time after a stamp on Scott Parker.
Despite such a strong performance from the Brits, it was two Brits who turned the result on its head. Jermaine Defore missed a clear-cut opportunity in stoppage time, that would have given Spurs victory. It was a mistake at the other end that changed the game. After controversial striker Mario Balotelli controlled the ball in the box, Spurs centre back Ledley King took him to ground to concede a penalty. Balotelli converted the penalty to give City the 3 points.
The game showed that the British talents are still key to the performance for the gelling the top teams together. Maybe it isn’t all about the multi-million international stars anymore…