Football Features

Tottenham 0-1 Man City: Player ratings as Nathan Ake ends City’s Tottenham curse

By James Amey

Published: 22:36, 26 January 2024

The curse has finally been broken.

Pep Guardiola’s side booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup after Nathan Ake’s goal late on handed City their first ever win at the Tottenham Hotspur in their sixth attempt.

Before this evening, City had failed to score in all five matches at Spurs’ new ground and their barren run looked set continue. However, after Ruben Dias battled with Vicario to get on the end of Kevin De Bruyne’s corner, the ball fell perfectly for Nathan Ake to poke the ball home and despite Spurs protests, the goal was given and City finally had their first victory at their bogey ground.

Here’s how the players rated at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:


Guglielmo Vicario – 6 – Made a good save to deny Foden in the opening five minutes, but was bullied by Ruben Dias for City’s late winner when he should have been stronger.

Pedro Porro – 6.5 – Let out an almighty roar after he made a huge block to deny Oscar Bobb in the first half. Not his usual self going forward in a limp Spurs display in an attacking sense.

Cristian Romero – 7 – A solid defensive display from Tottenham’s captain, who has calmed down with his armband. Made two blocks, won both of his aerial duels and played some nice forward passes when under pressure.

Micky van de Ven – 8 –  Made a HUGE block to deny Julian Alavrez, who looked all set to score early on in the second half. Made seven clearances, two blocks and misplaced just two of his 58 passes. His incredible pace is sensational and crucial to the way Spurs play under Ange Postecoglou.

Destiny Udogie – 8 – Showed great strength to get back and deny Phil Foden in the first half and battled well all evening. Shows composure beyond his years and is difficult to stop when driving through the midfield.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg – 7 – Had a very good first half, with some excellent passes and some important tackles.Very fortunate Vicario was behind Bernardo Silva’s late strike however, after a slip before sloppily giving away possession just one minute later when De Bruyne should have scored. Rating would have been higher if it wasn’t for that.

Rodrigo Bentancur – 7 – Still returning from a long-term injury, but you can see his quality. Never gives up. glides past players and when he does lose possession, he goes and wins it back.

Brennan Johnson – 5.5 – Struggling for confidence, but showed some glimpses of improvement. Final ball is still lacking however.

Dejan Kulusevski – 6 – Held on to the ball for too long on more than one occasion in the first half, but much improved in the second. Played some nice one-twos down the right hand side to get Spurs moving up the pitch, holding on to the ball well.

Timo Werner – 6.5 – A frustrated figure in the first half, constantly looking to get in behind but his teammates were too slow releasing the ball.

Richarlison – 7 – His hold up play has come up leaps and bounds since his surgery and did well as a lone figure up front. Didn’t have a sniff however.


Oliver Skipp (for Johnson 72′) – 6 – Came on to strengthen the midfield.

James Maddison (for Bentancur 73′) – 6 – His first game back since Spurs defeat to Chelsea.

Dane Scarlett (for Hojbjerg 73′) – N/A – A late sub.

Man City

Stefan Ortega – 7 – Did not have a single save to make in the first half, but smothered Brennan Johnson well in his first involvement of the second half.

Kyle Walker – 8 – You’ll never beat Des Walker was the chant that bellowed round the City Ground many moons ago and the same can be said for Kyle. Got back superbly to catch the lightning quick Timo Werner when he looked to be away and was defensively solid all evening. Took advantage of a Udogie slip early on to find Phil Foden free in the box, but his shot was saved by Vicario, before Bobb’s rebound was ruled offside.

Ruben Dias – 6.5 – Didn’t look like his usual composed self. Dragged Brennan Johnson down when he didn’t need to and was Booked for a spat with Richarlison.

Nathan Ake – 8 – Played some excellent passes between the lines in the opening 25 minutes, solid at the back and struck in stoppage time to end Man City’s curse at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Scored in the fourth round in this competition against Arsenal last season and now done it again against Spurs this season.

Josko Gvardiol – 6 – Still getting to grips with playing left-back in this Man City side and got the look of disgust by Pep Guardiola after wasting another cross.

Rodri – 7.5 – Last lost a game in a Man City shirt on this ground back in February last year and is now 51 games unbeaten across all competitions. Created more chances than any other player on the pitch (4).

Mateo Kovacic – 8.5 – His best game in a Man City shirt. Glided past the Tottenham midfield and showed off the exact reason Pep wanted him at Man City – his incredible ball carrying ability. Constantly receiving and moving the ball and press resistant to Tottenham’s advances up the pitch.

Bernardo Silva – 7.5 – Bubblegum Bernardo. The ball sticks to his feet and it’s impossible to get it off him. Kept the ball moving for City and did well defensively for his side, winning six duels and making two tackles.

Oscar Bobb – 6.5 – Thought he had scored Man City’s first goal at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium after he poked the ball home inside the opening five minutes, only to see it ruled out for offside. Replaced after 65 minutes.

Phil Foden – 7.5 – Man City’s main threat going forward. His first touch was immaculate all evening, but came out second best to Destiny Udogie on more than one occasion.

Julian Alvarez – 5.5 – Looked certain to score just three minutes into the second half, but fluffed his lines as Van de Ven denied him. Taken off for the returning Kevin De Bruyne.


Jeremy Doku (for Bobb 65′) – 6 – Replaced Oscar Bobb with 25 minutes left on the clock.

Kevin De Bruyne (for Alvarez 65′) – 6 – Still working his way back to fitness. Missed a huge chance after Hojbjerg’s sloppy pass.