Tottenham 2 - 1 Manchester City - Review

Tottenham recorded a close-fought, entertaining 2 - 1 victory over Manchester City at White Hart Lane on Saturday to kill off the European aspirations of the Blues, whilst further strengthening the Lilywhites’ position in the Premier League table. A controversial refereeing decision from the normally reliable Mark Halsey effectively decided this contest, with the man in black awarding a questionable penalty to Spurs, coolly slotted home by Robbie Keane. Earlier goals from Jermaine Defoe and Valeri Bojinov had cancelled each other out, but it was a heartbreaking way to lose the game for the Blues.

Thanks to this defeat, City remain in tenth position in the table, just a miserly two points ahead of Stoke, whilst Tottenham head into the final game of the season still in contention for seventh place, currently lying two points and one place behind Fulham. The Blues move on to face Bolton at the City of Manchester Stadium next Sunday, whilst Spurs travel to Liverpool on the same day. The result extends Tottenham’s remarkable run against City, meaning that the Londoners have now won the past six Premier League meetings between the sides 2 - 1.

Just to add one further point - it was a pleasant surprise to hear Ian Cheeseman, the chief commentator on BBC Radio Manchester, coin a phrase that I had used in this blog to describe Robbie Keane’s “ill-fated sojourn at Liverpool”. Ian, if you’re reading this, which I suspect you are, keep up the good work and tell Fred Eyre that he’s a legend!


Ian “Cheddar” Cheeseman clearly enjoys reading this blog

Team News

Blues boss Mark Hughes was dealt a pre-match blow when influential winger Shaun Wright-Phillips failed to recover in time from his injury, and already deprived of the services of Robinho, it meant that an attacking reshuffle was required. In came Bulgarian midfielder Martin Petrov on the left of an attacking triumvirate, but that was the only change from the side that was defeated by Manchester United in the previous match. City’s bench looked particularly strong, with the likes of Valeri Bojinov and Pablo Zabaleta surprisingly joined by Benjani Mrawurawi and Danny Sturridge, both of whom had made much-quicker-than-expected recoveries.

Tottenham were deprived of a number of their star players, with the likes of Darren Bent, Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon all sidelined, but Harry Redknapp still selected an attack-minded line-up, featuring Robbie Keane, Jermaine Defoe and Roman ‘Good Surname For Scrabble’ Pavlyuchenko. Former City defender Vedran Ćorluka started at right-back for the home side, for whom captain Ledley King played despite being arrested during the week.

City Line-Up (4-2-3-1)

                                              Given

Richards                 Dunne                   Onuoha                    Bridge

                              de Jong                 Kompany

Elano                                    Ireland                                    Petrov

                                            Caicedo

Subs: Hart, Zabaleta, Berti, Fernandes, Sturridge, Mrawurawi, Bojinov


Luka Modrić and Wayne Bridge attempt the tango as they compete for the ball

Report

This fixture was crucial to both sides as they pushed for the final Europa League spot, but it was Tottenham who started the stronger and only two minutes had elapsed when Jermaine Defoe had a goal correctly ruled offside. Despite that early excitement, the tempo of the game was soporific, although Defoe nearly relieved the boredom by forcing Shay Given into a full-length sprawling save. City were looking very poor, with the rusty Martin Petrov a particular culprit, firing a cross way beyond Stephen Ireland. Given kept the scores level soon after with another diving save from Pavlyuchenko’s curling effort, but it was clear that the home side were firmly in the ascendancy.

With Spurs looking very strong, especially in the centre of the park, where Jermaine Jenas and Tom Huddlestone were overpowering City’s two holding midfielders, it was no surprise that the opening goal arrived shortly before the half hour mark. The afore-mentioned Huddlestone crossed from the right and Defoe nipped in front of the defence to cheekily guide the ball past Given. It was no more than the hosts deserved and it was a major setback for City’s European hopes.


Defoe scored to give Spurs the lead in the first half

To add insult to injury, no pun intended, Elano was replaced shortly afterwards, claiming blurred vision for the reason behind his departure. Up until this point, the Brazilian had been on the end of some physical challenges from opposing defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but Elano had to be treated by the club doctor in case of emergency. Argentinean international Pablo Zabaleta, who was unfortunate in the first place to be named on the bench, was introduced to the action, albeit in an unaccustomed right-wing role. 

The rest of the half was a dull affair with Spurs seemingly content to sit on their lead, whilst the Blues lacked any sort of penetration. Not even an amusing incident at the end of the half, involving a linesman lying on his backside in agony, could brighten City’s mood and the visitors were sure to be on the receiving end of a Mark Hughes rollicking.


Poor old Andy Garratt had to replaced at half-time, suffering from injury after being felled by Defoe

As the second period began, it was do or die for the Blues, and they started in a positive manner, with Petrov looking more energetic than usual. But the Bulgarian was replaced on the hour mark after Hughes opted to make a double substitution. The ineffective Felipe Caicedo made way along with Petrov, and they were replaced by Valeri Bojinov and Benjani as the Blues changed not just personnel, but also their formation.

From a corner, captain Richard Dunne showed just why he is a defender by lashing over from inside the box, but it was not long before the changes took effect, as the Blues drew level on 64 minutes. Stephen Ireland looped a ball forward, Benjani flicked the ball on and Bojinov was on hand to belt a half-volley home, leaving Heurelho Gomes with no chance.


The not-so-popular Valeri Bojinov celebrates his goal on his own

The double change had sparked some life into the Blues, and now, more than ever, they sensed the urge to attack. Ireland was becoming more involved in the game and City were pouring forward at every opportunity. Bojinov should have done better with an overhead kick, but as the match entered its final few minutes, the outcome was very much still in the balance.

And then, the major turning point of the game. So often we criticise the referee for making incorrect decisions, and so often, it is these decisions which affect a match, and that was the case again at White Hart Lane, when, with just five minutes left on the clock, Mark Halsey awarded Tottenham a debatable-to-say-the-least penalty. As a cross was whipped over from the right, Micah Richards and Frazier Campbell, recently on for Pavlyuchenko, seemed to tangle legs. It was nothing major; the ball was never going to reach the striker, but Halsey decided to award a penalty nonetheless. Robbie Keane, a perennial scorer against City, stepped up and sent his international teammate Shay Given the wrong way to hand Spurs the advantage. Their European dreams were still on, whilst City’s had been crushed.

 
Shay Given complains to Mark Halsey before Robbie Keane sends the ‘keeper the wrong way

Key Battles

Vedran Ćorluka ‘v’ Martin Petrov

The former City defender would have marked Petrov in training last season on a plethora of occasions, so the Croat would have known what to exect fromthe pacy winger. Unfortunately for City, Petrov was nowhere near being match-fit, thus failing to cause Ćorluka any serious problems. Vedran supported his countryman Modrić quite well in attack, so the winner is Ćorluka.

Luka Modrić ‘v’ Micah Richards

Modrić, unusually for him, occupied the right-wing role so he never came into direct competition with England hopeful Richards. Micah seemed as if he was recovering some of last season’s form, attacking well and looking solid, so overall, due to a pair of decent performances, this contest is a Draw.

Robbie Keane ‘v’ Richard Dunne

These two international compatriots and best friends both had superb games. Keane tended to drift out to the left in order to try to capitalise on Micah Richards’s defensive weaknesses, but despite his winning goal, he never truly dominated the match. Dunne and Nedum Onuoha were arguably two of City’s best perfromers, so this contest is another Draw


Harry Redknapp guided his team to another victory over City

Summary

A massively deflating and disappointing defeat for City, which means that it is the end of their European aspirations. This is a huge blow in terms of players who we can attract in the summer, but over the course of the season, our form in general, in the main part courtesy of our results on the road, has not been good enough to warrant seventh place. This match further highlighted the fact that Felipe Caicedo is not good enough for the Premier League, let alone the Conference North, but Mark Hughes surely knows this and will look to rectify it in the summer. Yet again, City missed the pace of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Craig Bellamy and a fully fit Martin Petrov, but Tottenham looked sharper to the ball and seemed to want the win more than the Blues.

35 Responses to “Tottenham 2 - 1 Manchester City - Review”

  1. Shauny Wright - pure genius Says:

    ‘Tottenham recorded a close-fought, entertaining 2 - 1 victory’.
    Which match were you watching Sven?!
    If this was close fought then the derby was all one-way action in our favour!
    And as for Robbie Keane ‘drawing’ with Dunney, well that’s a lie, he had a shocker as per; we’re just thankful that Keane didn’t have his scoring boots on except for from the spot.
    And I really do think it is time that he moved on. Dunney has been a great servant to the club over the years, however he just hasn’t got it anymore, and especially if we are wanting to challenge the likes of Everton, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool.
    And as for Richards…Where do we start?
    Overpaid pile of…Fernandes.
    Where is the effort from the lad?! Even the suave, casual maestro that is Elano put more effort into his 30 minutes on the pitch than Richards in the whole match, and as for taking Elano off, if there was more to the substitution than just his eye problem then Hughes needs to be looked at closely because Elano was the only man in the first 30 mins who looked like creating a break for us, not even the starlet Ireland could hold off Assou-Ekotto (or however you spell it).

    Anyway Sven, I’ll let you off since exams are getting nearer, but I suggest you actually watch the whole match and not just the clips they show on MOTD and the great, yet bias commentary on BBC Radio Mcr.

  2. Shauny Wright - pure genius Says:

    Oh and as for Cheesey and Fred, YOU GUYS ARE LEGENDS!
    but also Steven, the rest of the first half was a dull affair?
    Erm…Spurs had us on the back foot for most if not all of the first half and Spurs some how didn’t manage to get a second or third goal

  3. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Thanks Rishi, although I disagree with a lot of what you say. Can I just point out that I did not just watch the highlights on MotD.

    Dunne had one of his better game, and although he has been poor this season (for his standards), there is no way that he should be shipped on. He is forming a very solid and reliable centre-back partnership with Nedum, so we should not break it up (unless we sign John Terry).

    Richards was better than usual, which wouldn’t be difficult, but I agree that he is a pile of Fernandes! He is a lazy, overpaid, cocky person, who should be sent on loan to Yeovil!

    Fred and Cheesy are gods, and as long as Nigel Gleghorn comes no-where near the radio, then all is good!

  4. Shauny Wright - pure genius Says:

    HAHA, Gleggy’s alright! you’ve gotta love the Sunderland accent.

    And Richards did play better than usual, however his commitment is shocking.

    And it is debatable as to whether or not Dunne should go, this season really has been poor, too many mistakes even by the standards of any defender.
    He does have a good partnership with Ned however this does not make up for his haphazard attempts to clear balls and get a touch on those near post crosses.

    And also, did you watch the whole game or listen? Because although the commentary that the Cheesmeister and Fredster provide us with is comedy genius and gives us the latest inside information, it is however totally bias.

  5. Shauny Wright - pure genius Says:

    By the way, I would not change the radio show in the slightest to become less bias, because we do need to have a show that airs the opinions of City supporters more than others, however for an impartial view on the game I believe it is vital to watch it and form your own judgements.

  6. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I watched about 80% and listened to about 20% of the game - a decent proportion.

    Although I do enjoy listening to Fred and Cheddar, it sometimes massively riles me when they read out the scores from the Conference North, just because Altrincham are playing. Who cares!?!?

    But overall, Gleghorn is useless. All he says is how he has watched Michael Johnson come through the youth teams!

  7. Shauny Wright - pure genius Says:

    Haha, the pisshead.
    And fair do’s with the proportion, I bet I was due to the shoddy FSC stream, haha.

    And they can’t help it, I suppose that they have to read out all of that malarchy because it is a regional show, but yes it is very frustrating.

  8. I*T*P*L Says:

    Very good review again Steven. So you think the commentator has been plagiarisng then or could it just be co-incidence that he used the same turn of phrase as you.

    I actually think it was a correct decision to give the penalty. I know you don’t usually see them given, but anywhere else on the pitch it would have been a free-kick, so by the laws of the game it should be a penalty.

    Was it not Trevor Massey who was injured rather than Andy Garratt? He’s someone i know pretty well from the Cheshire FA, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him take a tumble on MOTD.

    I’ll ask you what I have every game for a while now, do you think you can still make Europe, or is that curtains for you?

  9. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    It’s surely not a coincidence that he used the same phrase as me. How many people would describe it is as an “ill-fated sojourn at Liverpool”???

    I’m not 100% sure about the linesman but I think it was Garratt. Do you mean you know AG or TM?

    Penalty - I’m not sure. Seen them given, seen them not given. I suppose if it was in our favour, I would think it was a good decision, but I don’t know.

    I refuse to answer your last question. I’m just dreading the fact that you might with your last game and we might lose ours, and I would never hear the end of it from you!

  10. I*T*P*L Says:

    It probably is too unusual to be a co-incidence, in which case, firstly congratulations! Secondly, sue!

    I know Trevor Massey, and having seen it on MOTD, it was him I can tell you.

    How on earth was the penalty decision in your favour?! It was four minutes from the end and cost you the match and the chance of a place in Europe!

  11. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    OK, my mistake about the Massey thing.

    No, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick with what I said. What I meant to say, and possibly failed to get across, was the fact that if it was the other way around, and City had been awarded the penalty, then I might have thought that it was a good decision.

  12. I*T*P*L Says:

    Oh I see, didn’t read it properly, sorry.

  13. Matt Jones Says:

    “Ian, if you’re reading this, which I suspect you are…”

    >>> Ahahaa I like that!

    “City’s bench looked particularly strong…”

    >>> I thought you were joking about this, then I read on and realised you wern’t…Some mix up there Steven! Bar Zaba and Boj it was weak.

    “Roman ‘Good Surname For Scrabble’ Pavlyuchenko”

    >>> I’m surprised I laughed at that!

    “soporific”

    >>> I prefer the word ’sporadic’

    “razilian had been on the end of some physical challenges from opposing defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto”

    >>> Notice when Zaba came on he backed off! He clearly didn’t fancy the challenges with him as opposed to Elano!

    “Dunne and Nedum Onuoha were arguably two of City’s best perfromers”

    >>> Have been for the last several matches too.

    “This match further highlighted the fact that Felipe Caicedo is not good enough for the Premier League, let alone the Conference North”

    >>> Ahahaa, Ched Evans IS your man, trust me!

    “Thanks Rishi, although I disagree with a lot of what you say.”

    >>> Should say ‘I disagree with ALL of what you say’ because I do!

    “I’ll ask you what I have every game for a while now, do you think you can still make Europe, or is that curtains for you? ”

    >>> Ahahaa

    I like this Steven, a fair review which has been unfairly slated in my opinion by the likes of Rishi.

    Spanish…revision..HOW?!

  14. Matt Jones Says:

    p.s VJ IT’S CURTAINS

  15. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Thanks a lot Matt,

    Rishi is only a part-time supporter - doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about

    TO QUOTE YOU

    “soporific”

    >>> I prefer the word ’sporadic’

    APART FROM THE FACT THAT SPORADIC HAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEANING TO SOPORIFIC, I AGREE WITH YOU

    The bench, as I said on someone else’s blog (think VJ’s about Ledley) was overall quite good.

    Hart - very good young ‘keeper - fantastic back-up
    Zabaleta - world-class
    Berti - Will we ever find out?
    Fernandes - No comment needed
    Sturridge - promising youngster - good sub
    Bojinov - very good - should start
    Benjani - good sub if chasing the game

    Spanish revision is taking a back seat today - got French tomorrow so busy doing that. For Spanish, just learn as much vocab as possible. Did you go on that website that Simspon emailed us about - AWESOME!!

  16. Matt Jones Says:

    WHAT WEBSITEE??

    I NEVER GOT THIS EMAIL? IS IT TOO LATE FOR ME TO LOOK AT?

    CAN YOU PLEASE PUT THE WEBSITE ADDRES ON HERE FOR ME PLEASEEEEE????

    Thanks
    Matt

    p.s still disagree about the bench!

  17. Matt Jones Says:

    Ahhhh tonight if possibleeeee…i really need it??

    Good luck tomorrow by the wayyy!

  18. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Check your school email. I will forward it to there because it’s got a private password.

  19. Matt Jones Says:

    -y031 remember?

  20. Matt Jones Says:

    There are hardly any resourcess?

    Meet me after your exam tomorrow?

    Thanks, I’ll be in MPS room at break so come then please

  21. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Fine, I’ll do my best to get to MPS’s form room at about 11.25

  22. bluemoon Says:

    Lets go from the top.

    Defoe’s kick out at the linesman.

    >>> Don’t get me wrong, but if this was a player he lashed out to he would have been sent for an early bath. The ref was looking the wrong way and the linesman was on the floor woth stud marks in his knee. Can someone explain????

    Penalty

    >>> Shocking decision. That’s all i’m going to say about it.

    With our away form, we shouldn’t be anywhere near a european spot. That’s relegation form. 2 games won away from home - sunderland and everton is unacceptable. We dropped points at Brom, Boro, Newcastle, Stoke (sorry VJ bus we should beat stoke), Wigan, Bolton. Why???

  23. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    You missed out Hull and Pompey.

  24. Plattsy Says:

    Didn’t watch the game, so can’t really say much about the content of this review, but it seems gramatically sound which is always a good thing!

    I speed-read the spurs fan’s review of the same game - hard to believe it was the same game in parts though! He seems to think they were all over us for most of the game… anyway, the result doesn’t change.

    Where do we stand in the fair play league? Any chance of europe there?

    How did you find french? Good luck 2moz in Spanish!

  25. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Will have to check on fair play league.

    French - really good actually. Was happy with the esaay bout internet. If I remember correctly, you wanted about drugs.drink, so I guess you were pleased.

  26. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Having done some intense research on the fair play league, I can confirm that City have no chance of playing in Europe next season.

    The Blues are in 10th position in the English table, with no hope of making the top 7. Just out of interest, Stoke are 19th in the table.

    As a matter of fact, as a country, England are in 7th place worldwide, with only the top 3 countries gaining access via the fair play route. At the moment, these countries and their respective teams are:

    Rosenborg BK - Norway
    Randers - Denmark
    Motherwell - Scotland

    Hope that clears everything up for you

  27. Plattsy Says:

    Cheers Steven, shame…
    Yeah I was laughing when I saw the question on alcohol, it was perfect!
    How was espanol?

  28. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I hope you weren’t laughing too load and putting people off!!

    Spanish - I don’t think it was as easy as French. The listening was quite tough in parts, but the reading and especially the essay were fine. The choices for the essay weren’t as good as for French, but I still managed to blag about why going to the cinema is a positive experience!!

    Off now to do some last minute C1 revision.

  29. Matt Jones Says:

    “Spanish - I don’t think it was as easy as French. The listening was quite tough in parts, but the reading and especially the essay were fine. The choices for the essay weren’t as good as for French, but I still managed to blag about why going to the cinema is a positive experience!!”

    >>> Are you taking the p*ss???? I found it near impossible??? Hardest Spanihs paper we have ever had to do Steven?

    Listening…spent 50 odd mins…found it hard, especially the question before the numbers, they spoke sooo quickly? 22/35 MAX

    Reading…found almost impossible! eBay question I failed, I thought the train was 1.7m long so put it under games! The children one went badly wrong for me as I forgot what ‘A quienes?’ meant, so my first answer was Guetemala! Then it said ‘What does it say about Antigua’ so i put a ‘turist town!’ as it did actually say that, but obv wasnt looking for that as an answer! I thought all the number questions were tough? Probably like 17/30 MAX

    Grammar…I thought it was ‘volveran’ but obvioulsy not! I forgot to put an accent of dijo. I put facil going to faciles when it should have stayed the same and i also put iremos which is wrong, I put malo and it was mala, I put vamos and that was wrong and I put roto and that’s wrong too? Humph, so got 4/10 on that section

    Writing…I did the holidays essay and just spoke about how tourism wasn’t sustainable. I thought the choice of questions was poor 26/35 MAX

    Basically I finished right on the dot, but the max I can get is 69 and that is getting everything else right which I have not found out the answers to? Not going to happen…i told Simmo to book my resit anyway, and so did Blair.

  30. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I agree in parts Matt. Listening, especially the first two questions (fashion and graffit) were nigh impossible. Didn’t understand loads of the vocab for the fashion on. Listening overall - hoping for 25/35 ABSOLUTE MAX

    Reading - EBAY one was really hard. Got bit confused on one other bit as well but can’t remember which one. Grammar was OK, not sure if I got 10, because I think I put ‘dijío’ when it should have been ‘dijó’, but overall, thought that it was fine. Overall - hoping for 32/40 MAX

    Essay - not good choices as you said. Didn’t fully understand what the third option was, I think it was vaguely about email and mobiles, but not entirely sure. The cinema one wasn’t too bad. Made up quite a bit of stuff, so hope its OK. Overall - hoping for 30/35.

    As you say, it was probably the hardest paper we have done, but without wanting to sound cock, if people at our school struggled with it, then how will others have done???

  31. Matt Jones Says:

    What you say above is pretty differentt to the comment you made to Plattsy where you say the ‘the reading and especially the essay were fine’???!

    Yeah, despite how other people find it, they do not change the grade boundries so I rekon I have got a C so i’ll probs re-sit it in Jan i think. Ebay page i only got 3 right? Humphh, I was not happyyyy at all.

  32. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    What I said to Plattsy was perhaps with too much emotion, whereas my comments delivered to you were thoughtful because of the time that had elapsed since concluding the examination

    You won’t have got a C. We both know that!

    The EBAY page was very diificult, so don’t worry about it.

    Are you in tomorrow?

  33. Matt Jones Says:

    No, I’m not in until Friday now, good luck with your Maths and Latin this week.

    I can actually guarentee I have got a C. If it is 88 for an A and 77 for a B, I have deffo got a C. I know usually I think this when I actually have done better, but this time im not joking. I will probs resit anyway because I wouldn’t even take a B? You think you’ve got an A?

  34. Matt Jones Says:

    p.s we know it’s pretty bad…i got 4 on the grammar? Was it not ‘roto’?? I emailed RWS to let him know I hadn’t done very well and to tell him to prepare for the worst

  35. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    A couple of points Matt,

    Firstly, how do you know what the boundaries are? I don’t remember ever being told.

    Secondly, I think you are forgetting the fact that the oral, which we have already done, counts for 25% of the exam, so even if you do get a C from the listening.reading.writing, then your score will go up due to the oral.

    I think I’m maybe getting either high 70’s or low 80’s - not entirely sure.

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