Manchester City were beaten by Tottenham on the opening day of the Premier League season because they were poor defensively, according to Gary Neville and Micah Richards.
City started well for the opening 15 minutes before Spurs became the more dangerous side in the game.
Son Heung-Min scored the only goal of the game in the second half with a fine curling strike from the outside of the box with his left foot, after beating Nathan Ake with a drop of the shoulder.
According to former City defender Richards — who was working on the game for Sky Sports as a pundit — the former Bournemouth man should have done better for the goal.
Richards was also critical of Pep Guardiola’s midfield against Spurs.
“On too many occasions there was too bigger holes in the midfield,” Richards said.
“For the goal, Ake needs to dictate to Son, but instead it was Son dictating to Ake. As a defender, you have to stop Son coming inside because he will punish you and that’s what happened today. He needed to show him the line.”
Co-commentator for the game Neville was critical of Ake and left-back Benjamin Mendy during the game too, then continued his criticism of the two after the game also.
” I was critical of him during the game, but Ake is trying to build a career at Manchester City to start with, and when you have Mendy outside you I think you are going to have a weak side to your defence.
“Every time Mendy plays on that side of that defence they struggle, he gives you a chance on the ball, I think he got dispossessed twice in defensive areas and all of a sudden the game swings.”
City were without regular defenders Kyle Walker, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for the game, but their starting defence still cost 200m and Guardiola will have been disappointed with their display against Tottenham.
Sign up to our City newsletter so you never miss an update from the Etihad Stadium this season.