Leroy Sané takes the breath away in Manchester City’s latest rampage

first_imgPremier League Sportblog Read more Share via Email Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – as it happened Topics A little later Sané ran at Trippier again and won the corner that brought the opening goal. As Sané took the kick Dele Alli ran past İlkay Gündogan to cover Eliaquim Mangala at the near post. In the same moment the ball sailed over Alli, landed on Gündogan’s head and was nodded past Hugo Lloris.And so Sané had his seventh assist and 13th “goal involvement” of the season, with time to add another before the end, teeing up Raheem Sterling for City’s third goal. After a golden run from October into December, City’s left-winger had hit a slight dry patch. He has, though, been the same urgent presence, his lurking threat helping to keep City’s opponents packed back into their own defensive half.There was more of the same here. Midway through the second half, Sané eased inside Trippier again, doodled across the box and drew a one-handed save from Lloris with his weaker foot, end of a move that had spanned the entire length of the pitch. A breakaway second was coming, and it duly arrived via De Bruyne’s brilliant spanked left‑foot finish, converted at full pelt with Sané haring away in support outside him.And so City march on, and thrillingly so. Much has been made of their industrial-scale spending. City’s riposte, and Guardiola’s real passion, is the brilliance of an early-20s front three who have hardly been plucked straight from the front rank as ready-made superstars. Sterling-Sané-Jesus came to City as talented, biddable, high-priced parts. There is an art in their current attacking chemistry, something distinct from simply lassoing the nearest precooked superstar.Sané is still just 21, still improving, all potential energy, unburnt speed, power in reserve. This was his turn to shine, the most direct component in an attack that shows no sign of slowing down even as the rest of the field falls away. Share on Twitter Read more Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling completes crushing defeat of Spurs Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if Sergio, Kevin, David, Raheem and Gabriel don’t get you. Well, then, Leroy surely must. With apologies for summoning a distant echo of the cricket, not least on a freezing night in east Manchester when a strange, white, Santa’s beard‑like mist kept drifting in above the Etihad Stadium roof. But Tottenham were undone by raw speed here and above all by the thrilling precision of Leroy Sané on City’s left flank.If last Sunday’s victory at Old Trafford was a tribute to David Silva’s ability to manipulate the ball, a triumph of engineered incision, then the league leaders were more direct here, scoring three times in the second half and punishing every mistake from a stretched and tiring Tottenham. Share on Messenger Manchester City In Silva’s absence, this time it was Sané who provided the most exhilarating moments of City’s 4-1 victory in a spiky game played out to a soundtrack of thuds and thunks and bruising collisions. Not that Sané was alone in this. Kevin De Bruyne was brilliant once again, filling every part of the playmaker’s role from tempo‑setting polisher of the ball to master of the jet-heeled counterattack.What to do about De Bruyne, how to clog his influence without opening holes for every other threat in this City team, seems to be an insoluble problem right now. Pep Guardiola’s teams tend to approach each game like an expert wrestler, always looking for the overload, that moment where they can apply their own full strength to the weakest part of an opponent. De Bruyne’s ability to release the ball with startling accuracy at high speed is key to exploiting these tender points. Here he linked with Sané repeatedly, not just seeing the space Spurs insisted on leaving down that side but timing the pass perfectly.It isn’t hard to see why City’s fans love to sing Sané’s name. He is a wonderful spectacle when he starts to move, with a genuine sprinter’s acceleration, seeming simply to stretch his legs rather than batter the turf in the manner of your standard-issue professional athlete. Sané’s mother was a gymnast, his father a footballer, and he has that sense of total calm in the tightest of spaces that seems to translate across all elite sports.Here he was devastating at times, spending most of the first half doing horrible things to Kieran Trippier with a gallingly effortless grace. Part of the wider objection to José Mourinho’s cowering approach in defeat at Old Trafford was the refusal to press high up the pitch. Nicolás Otamendi has many uses – obstacle, bludgeon, decorative centrepiece – but Franz Beckenbauer he isn’t. Presumably Mourinho feared that to press high would leave space in behind, with devastating results against this City team. At which point: enter Sané. Within the first 10 minutes he was shifting the ball to his left by the touchline and vaporising Trippier in his thrusters, veering into the tiniest of spaces like a cartoon mouse speeding around the skirting board. Share on LinkedIn Tottenham Hotspur comment Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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