Nathan Ake relieved after Man City finally win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

By Sports Desk January 27, 2024

Nathan Ake admitted to a sense of relief that Manchester City finally broke their Tottenham Hotspur Stadium curse to stay on track to defend their FA Cup crown.

The holders squandered a number of chances in Friday’s fourth-round tie at Spurs before Ake poked home from close range with two minutes left.

It represented City’s first goal at Tottenham’s new home at the sixth time of asking and the centre-back conceded it felt like being another night to forget until his timely intervention.

“So happy. It was tough but we played really well over the whole game. We just had to score and it didn’t happen again for a long time. I was thinking is it going to happen but luckily we got it,” Ake said.

“I think trusting the way we played (was key). We played really well, created numerous chances and just the belief to keep going. Even though we didn’t score, just to keep going, keep trying and in the end we got it.

“I thought it is never going to come but finally we’ve done it.”

The introduction of Kevin De Bruyne proved crucial and it was his corner which created Ake’s 88th-minute winner.

De Bruyne had been left red-faced six minutes earlier when he curled wide with only Guglielmo Vicario to beat, but made amends with an exceptional set-piece delivery.

The 1-0 win made it seven victories in a row for City, who remain in the hunt for another treble after claiming Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League success last season.

Ake told ITV: “I think it was important to go through, we want to fight for every competition and this was a big step forward.”

Following a lacklustre first half, all eyes were on when De Bruyne and fit-again Spurs playmaker James Maddison would get the nod to come on.

Maddison made his first appearance since he sustained ankle ligament damage on November 6, but only touched the ball six times as Tottenham struggled to gain a foothold in the contest.

Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou hoped Maddison would be better for his 17-minute cameo with games to come against Brentford and Everton next week.

“Knowing the nature of the game, he’s trained well this week-and-a-half but he’s missed a lot of football,” Postecoglou explained.

“We were hoping to get him some minutes, which he did and he should be right to go from now on, but there’s another two games next week and we need him and others to pitch in.

“So, yeah it wasn’t really much of a dilemma about whether to start him or not. I just felt that coming off the bench was going to be better for us as a team more than anything else.”

Related items

  • Chelsea to take strongest possible action after Nicolas Jackson racially abused Chelsea to take strongest possible action after Nicolas Jackson racially abused

    Chelsea have threatened to bring criminal charges against anyone found to have racially abused Nicolas Jackson in the aftermath of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City.

    The 22-year-old striker missed a number of chances at Wembley as his side bowed out of the cup with a 1-0 defeat and was subsequently the target of abuse on social media.

    The racist comments were left on an Instagram post he had made following last week’s victory over Everton, in which he scored his 10th goal of the season.

    In a statement, the club said: “Chelsea Football Club is disgusted by the racial abuse directed towards Nicolas Jackson via social media, following Saturday evening’s game.

    “There is no place in society for any form of discrimination and we operate a zero-tolerance approach to any incident of this nature.

    “The club will support any criminal prosecutions and take the strongest possible action, including bans, against any individual who is found to be a season ticket holder or member.”

    Defending the Senegal international’s record during his debut season – since signing for Chelsea from Villarreal – manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “Jackson is doing fantastic and he will always have my support.

    “He’s doing an amazing job for the team: running, scoring, assists.

    “It’s not easy in the first season. Nicolas fights for the club and he will be better next season, no doubts.”

  • Nottingham Forest want VAR audio to be released after rejected penalty claims Nottingham Forest want VAR audio to be released after rejected penalty claims

    Nottingham Forest have asked for the VAR audio to be released concerning three key decisions that went against them in their match at Everton on Sunday.

    Forest issued an extraordinary post on social media soon after the final whistle in their 2-0 Premier League defeat at Goodison Park, criticising the decision to reject three penalty claims.

    The club said they had “warned” Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) that VAR Stuart Attwell “was a Luton fan”, but that the referees’ body did not change the appointment.

    Sources have told the PA news agency that Forest’s referee analyst Mark Clattenburg did contact PGMOL chief of refereeing Howard Webb on Friday to share that the club thought manager Nuno Espirito Santo might be asked about Attwell by the media, but insist there was no request to change the appointment.

    Forest have now called for the audio between Attwell and on-field referee Anthony Taylor to be made public.

    “Nottingham Forest has today submitted a formal request to the PGMOL to release into the public domain the audio recordings between officials during yesterday’s match against Everton at Goodison Park,” Forest’s statement read.

    “The club has requested this be shared for three key match incidents – Ashley Young’s challenge on Giovanni Reyna (24th minute), Ashley Young’s handball (44th minute) and Ashley Young’s challenge on Callum Hudson-Odoi (56th minute).

    “We firmly advocate for the broader football community and supporters to have access to the audio and transcript for full transparency, ensuring the integrity of our sport is upheld.”

    PGMOL has been contacted for comment.

    PGMOL did agree to a request from Liverpool earlier this season to release the audio connected to the decision to disallow a Luis Diaz goal at Tottenham.

    On that occasion, miscommunication between the VAR and the referee led to the goal wrongly being disallowed.

    Audio of other selected incidents has also been broadcast during episodes of the ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’ programme during the season, but the laws of the game prevent such audio being broadcast live.

    Forest issued a statement on X on Sunday which read: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

    “We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

    Clattenburg later wrote in a Daily Mail column: “One of these errors would have been bad enough.

    “Three was a joke, and that is why Nottingham Forest were left feeling victimised after another defeat in which zero big decisions went their way.

    “In a season where they have had to endure some egregious refereeing, this trip to Everton was as grim a game as they have encountered since returning to the Premier League.”

  • Andre Onana says Man Utd will learn from mistakes after FA Cup semi-final scare Andre Onana says Man Utd will learn from mistakes after FA Cup semi-final scare

    Andre Onana vowed Manchester United will learn from their mistakes ahead of facing Manchester City in the FA Cup final after their late collapse in the semi-final against Coventry almost led to an embarrassing defeat.

    United surrendered a 3-0 lead at Wembley and were saved from a humiliating exit in extra time only by a VAR intervention, ruling out for offside what would have been a last-gasp winner for the Sky Blues.

    They survived to edge through on penalties and set up a re-match of last year’s final against City on May 25, the first time since 1885 that the same two clubs have contested the final in consecutive seasons.

    But after they were ripped into in the closing stages by a Coventry team eighth in the Championship, United goalkeeper Onana indicated radical improvement will be needed if the Red Devils are to avenge the 2-1 loss they suffered against Pep Guardiola’s men last season.

    “It’s mixed feelings,” said the 28-year-old. “Of course the most important thing is the victory but the way we won, it’s a difficult situation.

    “We had the game under control, then some individual mistakes, gave some goals away. But we will learn from our mistakes. We have to continue working hard.”

    The manner in which United allowed Coventry back into the game has increased the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag, with the team currently seventh in Premier League and in a fight to qualify for Europe next season.

    Should they fail to overcome City in the cup final they face the prospect of missing out on European qualification for just the second time in the Premier League era.

    “If you put everything on the table, we can speak about everything; about injuries, bad luck,” said Onana. “We missed a lot of important players, it’s difficult for such a big club to play without such big players.

    “I don’t pay attention about how many shots we have conceded, because at the end of the day it’s about winning. We won so we have to look forward.

    “It’s a big responsibility and it starts with myself. We are here to take the bullet. When things are not going good, (it is important) not to point fingers.

    “Everything was under control and we gave goals away, so it’s more (our responsibility) than other people.”

    Asked what United needed to improve in order to overcome City in the final, he said: “Having more possession, being more dominant on the ball.

    “We play against a very good team who are very good on the ball. We’re going to make them run.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.