Mauricio Pochettino wore the smile of a proud man after his Tottenham team somehow escaped with a point from the Etihad, but beneath that was the stark realisation that his club is in danger of being left behind in the Premier League arms race.
The return of the Premier League always provokes mixed feelings. On the down side, it heralds the onset of long winter nights with nothing to do but watch football; on the up side, it heralds the onset of long winter nights with nothing to do but watch football.
Vincent Kompany, 11 years a loyal Manchester City servant and a symbol of the stratospheric changes the club has undergone in that time, scored his first goal in 13 months at the most opportune moment and in the most spectacular fashion last night.
When Heung Min Son smashed home the only goal of a dramatic game, to give Spurs a precious 1-0 lead to take to Manchester next week, the roar that erupted in their magnificent new stadium would have been heard loud and clear five kilometres down the Seven Sisters Road, deep in the heart of Arsenal territory.
Every now and then there comes a match which not only has the potential to define a season but also possesses the power to force a seismic change in the football tide; and Liverpool’s visit to the Etihad tonight is one such game.
Not sure if you have noticed, but Spanish-speaking football managers like to talk about suffering. The word pops up all the time in their post-match interviews. It might be something to do with Catholicism or just a general, Pedro Almodovar heroine-style fondness for tortured emotion, writes
Sergio Aguero is well aware just how big an impact tomorrow night’s meeting with Liverpool could have on Manchester City’s ambition to retain their Premier League title, and the Argentinian is hopeful he can continue his excellent scoring run against Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Etihad.
It’s the ultimate battle of philosophies in Manchester tomorrow. A classic clash of styles as the family pulling every stroke to pump as much money as possible into their club faces the family working every trick in the book to take it out.