Through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and on track to finish in the top four of the Premier League despite making no signings, it is impossible to argue that Tottenham are not having a good season.
But Spurs’ record against other teams considered part of the ‘big six’ – Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and rivals Arsenal – continues to be underwhelming at best.
This season has seen Spurs fail to win either of their north London derby meetings against Unai Emery’s side in the Premier League, while they were beaten by Chelsea in the EFL Cup semi-finals.
Mauricio Pochettino has done a fantastic job at the club, earning links to United and Real Madrid, but Spurs’ apparent inability to dominate other top teams counts against him.
Ahead of Sunday’s clash against title hopefuls Liverpool at Anfield, Omnisport looks back at the 11 fixtures in all competitions Pochettino’s men have played against ‘big six’ sides this season.
PL: Manchester United 0-3 Tottenham – August 27, 2018
Having won their first two games of the new Premier League campaign, Spurs maintained their perfect start with a stunning 3-0 demolition of Jose Mourinho’s United at Old Trafford. In what was widely considered Pochettino’s audition to replace the increasingly under-fire Portuguese, Spurs soaked up United pressure and hit them on the break. Quickfire goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura after the interval set up their victory and the same duo combined for the Brazilian’s late clincher.
PL: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool – September 15, 2018
But just three weeks later, Spurs’ weaknesses were ruthlessly highlighted by Liverpool at Wembley. Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino scored either side of half-time with Erik Lamela’s reply too late to be more than a consolation, although they could have claimed an unlikely draw had stoppage-time appeals by Son Heung-min for a penalty not been rejected.
Five wins out of five
Gini’s away day delight
THAT Joe Gomez challenge
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 18, 2018
PL: Tottenham 0-1 Manchester City – October 29, 2018
On a Wembley pitch ruined by NFL action, City emerged victorious thanks to a Riyad Mahrez goal in the sixth minute. Mahrez dedicated his winner to the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who had died in a helicopter crash outside the Foxes’ stadium. That result left Spurs in fifth, five points behind leaders City and Liverpool.
PL: Tottenham 3-1 Chelsea – November 24, 2018
Maurizio Sarri tasted defeat in the Premier League for the first time since taking charge of Chelsea as the Blues were brushed aside at Wembley, Dele Alli giving Spurs the lead and Kane doubling that advantage in the first 16 minutes. It was one of the finest team performances of the season, but Pochettino’s men have struggled to hit those heights in big domestic games since that November day.
PL: Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham – December 2, 2018
Derbies are always unpredictable, but few would have backed Emery’s side to produce a crushing victory in a six-goal thriller. Spurs fell behind to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early penalty but Eric Dier and Kane scored to put them ahead at the break. Arsenal’s second-half display was supreme, however, as the Gunners’ 19th game in all competitions without defeat saw them leapfrog their neighbours in the Premier League.
IT’S HERE AT LAST
Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 18, 2018
EFL Cup: Arsenal 0-2 Tottenham – December 19, 2018
Spurs did manage to gain some revenge over their rivals as they headed back to Emirates Stadium just a couple of weeks later. Son and Alli came up with the goals as Pochettino’s side set up another London derby in the last four of the EFL Cup, the draw pairing them with Chelsea.
EFL Cup: Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea – January 8, 2019
Kane’s penalty – which was awarded after a VAR check at Wembley – secured Spurs a 1-0 win in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final, earning them a second home victory over Chelsea this term. But the result could have easily been in the Blues’ favour as they hit the woodwork twice, giving Sarri’s side some hope ahead of the return game later in the month.
PL: Tottenham 0-1 Manchester United – January 13, 2019
With Mourinho gone, Pochettino’s main rival for the Old Trafford hotseat seemed to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who brought his United side to Wembley and left with all three points after a smash and grab display. Spurs forced a number of fine saves from David de Gea but a Marcus Rashford goal shortly before half-time punished the hosts’ lack of clinical edge.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 13, 2019
EFL Cup: Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham (Chelsea won 4-2 on penalties) – January 24, 2019
Their narrow first-leg advantage was not enough for Spurs to progress to the EFL Cup final as they lost on penalties at Stamford Bridge. With talisman Kane injured, Fernando Llorente scored to send the tie to extra time after goals from N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard put the Blues ahead. Dier and Lucas failed to convert their spot-kicks and Pochettino’s hopes of claiming his first trophy were over.
PL: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham – February 27, 2019
A month later, Spurs lost at the Bridge again. Pedro put Chelsea ahead and a comedic own goal late in the game from Kieran Trippier secured the points for Sarri’s side. It felt like this was the day Tottenham’s title hopes were extinguished, Pochettino’s side looking tired with Kane yet to recover his sharpness following his injury absence.
PL: Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal – March 2, 2019
In their most recent meeting against ‘big six’ sides, Arsenal were Spurs’ opponents for the third time this season. Aaron Ramsey gave the Gunners a first-half lead but Kane’s penalty drew Tottenham level. There was more spot-kick drama to come, though, as Hugo Lloris saved from Aubameyang in stoppage time.
Wembley is Aaron Ramsey’s pitch and we’re all just playing on it
2019, Premier League: vs Tottenham Hotspur
2017, FA Cup final: vs Chelsea
2014, Community Shield: vs Manchester City
2014, FA Cup final: vs Hull City pic.twitter.com/r67YV3Xums
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 2, 2019
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