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Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham: Something not quite right at Premier League champions, says Micah Richards

Tottenham’s Dejan Kulusevski scored a 90th-minute equaliser as champions Manchester City were held to a third-consecutive Premier League draw in a six-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium; Are City becoming easier to play against?

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts his side's 3-3 draw and the referee's decision to blow his whistle while, Jack Grealish was attacking towards Tottenham's goal and appeared to be playing the advantage

Manchester City's defensive organisation is currently "non-existent" and their inability to control games late on could cost them their fourth straight Premier League title, fears Micah Richards.

Dejan Kulusevski scored a 90th-minute equaliser as Tottenham snatched a thrilling 3-3 draw at the home of the defending champions on Super Sunday.

City boasted a far superior Expected Goals (xG) to their opponents - 2.64 to 0.49 - but they were pegged back to ensure Spurs avoided a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat for the first time in 19 years.

The home side were to rue their profligacy as the visitors refused to throw in the towel and Kulusevski's towering late header earned Ange Postecoglou's side a point.

"There's something just not right at Man City," Richards told Sky Sports. "They're too easy to play on the counter attack, too many individual mistakes again.

Pep Guardiola was agitated as City dropped points
Image: Pep Guardiola was agitated as City dropped points

"Seeing out the game at the end there, it's all about concentration. You have to concentrate in the key moments and they didn't do that.

"Credit to Spurs, they were fantastic. They found a way. There are just gaps in that Man City team in midfield and defence. Organisation, at this moment in time, is non-existent.

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"There is definitely a drop-off. This City team rely so much on the forward players bailing you out. Normally when it gets to 1-1, the City attackers then go and score two or three.

"At the moment, that's not happening. But they're allowing teams back into games and they've got to defend better.

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Erling Haaland was left fuming after Manchester City were denied a late goalscoring opportunity against Tottenham and stormed off the pitch

Out-of-sorts Man City

Manchester City have failed to win three successive Premier League games despite leading in all of them (D3), the first time they have had such a spell since a run of three draws under Mark Hughes in November 2009.

"Ruben Dias is supposed to be one of the best in the league while Nathan Ake has to do more for Kulusevski's header. They're individual mistakes. They are vulnerable defensively and teams are no longer afraid to go up against them."

Pep Guardiola's side had led 2-1 at the break thanks to a Phil Foden goal after Heung-min Son had scored at both ends, but Giovani Lo Celso's superb strike made it 2-2.

With Spurs committing numerous errors, City had the chances to win convincingly but paid the price for their wastefulness. The numbers suggest there has been a drop-off in the past four league games.

So are City becoming easier to play against?

Man City's form has dipped in the last four games

Richards continued: "When John Stones plays, he can nullify the threat when he steps into midfield. [Manuel] Akanji is a very good defender, but when he goes into midfield, he doesn't stop attacks as much as he should. He's either too far in front of the ball or a little bit too deep.

"I think the hunger [to win the title again] is still there. I would never question that. They've won the title three seasons in a row, winning the treble last season. So you're going to come off it at some stage."

Keane: City scoring, but something amiss in defence

Sky Sports' Roy Keane: "If you’ve won one or two trophies, you look at that hunger and desire in the dressing room and I think that’s there, certainly from the manager.

“But if you look at Spurs’ first goal today, the goalkeeper has to save it. He would have last year. Haaland missed a couple of chances today, he normally score them.

“So when the players come off it a little bit and you set yourself such high standards over the last few years, which they have and it’s hard to be critical of City because they’ve been so good but when they come off it, you go ‘what’s missing at Man City?’

“They’re still scoring plenty of goals, but the worry over the last three or four weeks is there’s clearly something amiss defensively. If you come off it even one or two per cent, it takes its toll on the results.”

It was City's third successive draw and there was further frustration as Rodri was booked, ruling him out of the midweek trip to Aston Villa. Jack Grealish will also be suspended against his former club.

Richards added: "Grealish is my mate so I care about him a little bit more. The price tag of £100m and his performances of goals and assists is not at the level we expect.

Manchester City's Jack Grealish celebrates with Bernardo Silva after scoring his side's third goal
Image: Jack Grealish celebrates with Bernardo Silva

"But he still affects the game. People look at Doku but his numbers are so much better. He did need that moment, when people start to question you, you need to step up.

"When he came on the pitch today, he needs to do that a little bit more.

"At Villa, he would run past players and put it top bins. He has come into a different system and for whatever reason at times, he is playing within himself.

"The likes of Mahrez would not have the best game but he would get goals and assist to show for it."

Are City bored?

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Sky Sports' Melissa Reddy and Adam Bate analyse the dramatic 3-3 draw between Manchester City and Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium

Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, Gary Neville said: "We knew Spurs would cause problems here today, but I just thought they would get beat up and blow away. I didn't think they'd be able to keep City out - and I didn't think City would concede three.

"But there's a pattern here today. City allowed the game to drift. They didn't seem serious enough about the danger that existed in the game. And what that amounts to is complacency.

"That used to happen a lot in seasons after you've won the league, and you come back, our manager used to say 'are you bored?' You're waiting for the big game. There are always warning signs.

"The problem is with City, we've become accustomed to them not being complacent and not playing like this. There's definitely a pattern of them not waking up, thinking it's going to be easy. Nine goals [conceded] in four matches is so unlike Manchester City."

What could draw mean for Arsenal, Liverpool and title race?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Tottenham

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:

"We've seen this before from Man City where they go on a run in the second half of the season, win 10 or 12 games on the bounce and just go away from other teams.

"Maybe this season, Arsenal have their experience and will be stronger in those moments. We know Liverpool have been there before with the manager and certainly half the team.

"But it prolongs it and we might have a title race going into March or April."

Sky Sports' Roy Keane:

"I certainly wouldn't bet again Man City, but I am starting to become doubtful about City winning that title.

"There's a reason it hasn't been won four years in a row because keeping those levels up, that hunger, desire, you get a few injuries, some of the top boys coming off it.

"But certainly Arsenal and Liverpool I'm looking at, especially Arsenal with the strength and depth they've got and the experience of last year."

Keane: Spurs deserve credit

Tottenham's Dejan Kulusevski scores the equaliser to make it 3-3
Image: Dejan Kulusevski scores the equaliser to make it 3-3

Sky Sports' Roy Keane:

"Tottenham deserve a lot of plaudits. The way they performed in the first half, the chances they were giving up, they changed and started the second half well and then to come back at the end.

"In the past, I've always been very critical of Spurs. But I will give them huge credit. They had courage and bravery to come back in the game. They had a goal threat, they tightened up in the centre half at the back.

"They hung in there, they survived. You look at the stats there, you could say City let them off the hook. But when you consider the players they are missing, they hung in there.

"They scored three goals away from home, which is a big plus for them. They were a goal threat, and as much as they were all over the place in the first half, you felt they had goals in them.

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Micah Richards says he doesn't understand why the referee didn't play advantage for Jack Grealish after Erling Haaland was fouled

"All credit to them for that."

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:

"Ange Postecoglou deserves credit, and not just today. The run they've been on, they've been very unlucky.

"You need luck when you're going well and it was there at the start of the season but in the three games on the bounce that they lost, they shot themselves in the foot on every single occasion.

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Ange Postecoglou said he told his players at half time to have more believe in themselves and was pleased with the character they showed to comeback twice to draw 3-3 with Manchester City

"They hadn't played that poorly in too many of those games. But I thought two or three players taking players on on the edge of their own box would go on to hurt them.

"They deserve the point, in terms of the bad luck that has gone against them.

"I think Spurs have always been a top team in terms of trying to challenge for top four. I don't think Spurs are going to be in any sort of title race or anything like that.

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Speaking on his Sky Sports podcast, Gary Neville says he has confidence that Arsenal can push Manchester City closer in the Premier League title race

"The important thing is the manager said before the game that people were going to question their set-up today. It's not about today, this is about the long-term in the next two or three years to make Spurs the real deal.

"He's not going to change anything, he's trying to instil something within the club. He got the payback in the second half.

"Son said the manager told them to play even more. They were a lot better in the second half."

What's next?

Manchester City face a tricky trip to Aston Villa on Wednesday, kick-off 8.15pm. They then head south to play Luton on Sunday, kick-off 2pm - a game live on Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, Tottenham host West Ham in a spicy London derby on Thursday, kick-off 8.15pm. Next up, Newcastle are the visitors to north London on Sunday, kick-off 4.30pm - a game live on Sky Sports.

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