So, an early touchdown from Manchester City’s wide receiver Riyad Mahrez saw his team beat the Tottenham Hotspurs in the latest match to be played on an American Football pitch at Wembley Stadium.
Whether all the different lines on the pitch confused Hugo Lloris into suddenly backtracking from his original starting position when Trippier looked to head it home is yet to be confirmed but it must have been confusing for many of the players.
Even watching on TV, I thought the ball was going out every single time it went to the far side of the TV screen and I couldn’t help but wonder how much Tottenham should have been charging the NFL for having their logo in the middle of the pitch for a Premier League game being beamed all over the world.
The ramshackle nature of the playing surface, no matter how much people were claiming it wasn’t as bad as it looked, led to a ramshackle match which was littered with errors. But, in this column, we like errors as it gives us something to write about.
Kieran Trippier has been getting the blame for his header leading to the City goal but, considering Lloris’ current form, he has got away scot-free from criticism. If you look closely, his starting position is to the edge of his area giving Trippier the thought to head it back to him. Then, in a puff of smoke, he has disappeared to his goal-line leaving Trippier up a Wembley river without a paddle.
Eric Lamela would have equalised for Spurs on any other pitch in the country late on, but the third or maybe fourth bobble as the ball came to him killed any chance of him sticking the ball into the top corner.
I am not sure we can blame the pitch for Benjamin Mendy’s erratic display, though. During 90 minutes, Mendy can go from looking like a totally unplayable athlete to someone who has only just been introduced to the game of football having played baseball all his life. It really is quite remarkable how he does it. Yesterday though, yesterday was definitely more of the latter than the former.
Moussa Sissoko performed his usual trick of not being completely rubbish (his usual setting) because the match was on television and Eric Dier was, yet again, as good as his surname suggests.
Touchingly, Mahrez dedicated his winner to the late Leicester City owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Mahrez had spent nearly five years at Leicester with the man he called ‘The Boss’ and was understandably emotional given the events of Saturday night.
With Real Madrid having finally plucked up the courage to tell Julen Lopetegui that the last three-and-a-half months have all been for nothing and appointing an interim coach in Solari, will they go for Pochettino rather than Conte? Madrid fans would surely hope so as I doubt they’d be too keen on seeing whether Isco can play right wing-back.
One man who has no issue in making a midfielder a right-back is Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho. It is being reported that the board are going to back him with a transfer chest of £100m, providing the right deals can be done. The noise you can hear is every club in Europe adding an extra £15m to any of their top defensive talents knowing that United could well be knocking on the door anytime now.