Eddie Howe breaks down Tottenham's approach to beating Manchester City

Sam Preston November 24, 2020
Eddie Howe breaks down Tottenham's approach to beating Manchester City
Photo Neil Hall - by Pool/Getty Images

Eddie Howe has run the rule over how Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday.

Speaking on Sky Sports‘s coverage of Monday Night Football, the Bournemouth boss went into detail about Jose Mourinho’s gameplan.

At 10:32pm, 23/11, Howe praised the way Spurs worked as a compact unit to shut down City, and noted the way the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were willing to run into unfamiliar positions to get the job done.

He also picked out how Kevin de Bruyne was shut down effectively by a disciplined midfield performance.

Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

“The counter-attacking was of the highest quality,” said Howe. “You had people filling in positions that weren’t natural to them to combat Manchester City’s strength. I love this, Son back helping his fullback.

“Harry Kane almost filling in in a left midfield position. We know City attack so well through their number eights, here it was de Bruyne and Silva. De Bruyne has made a run the other side of Tottenham’s left back.

“You have to have a plan. Here, what’s unique is Tottenham have decided to track that run with their central midfielder, not just one side but both sides.

“It makes a back five. They dealt with that really well. Sissoko then tracks Silva, so it’s a back six.”

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It’s not often that fans get the chance to hear analysis from a manager who was in the Premier League so regularly.

Howe also talked about his own plans to stop City when he was Cherries boss, including starting with a five-man backline.

Mourinho didn’t compromise his own starting system, but made sure his midfielders ran all the way back with de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva when they made bursts.

That laid the foundation to get a crucial three points.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.