Manchester City claimed the three points in this top of the table clash. A dent to the Lilywhites title aspirations and a boost to City’s? With 16 games still to go, this result itself may turn out to mean little. When City beat Tottenham in August, there may not have been many then, who would have expected the return fixture to be a first versus third clash. The August defeat led to manager Harry Redknapp, bringing in some astute signings and embarking on a run of form that saw only one loss between the two City fixtures. Spurs fans may hope this loss acts as a similar catalyst.
In the second half the tempo increased and the game became more open. In the 56th minute an incisive pass from David Silva created space for Samir Nasri to rifle home. Three minutes later poor marking from a corner allowed Edin Dzeko to flick on for Joleon Lescott to bundle the ball into the net. Lesser teams may have crumbled, instead Spurs hit back immediately. A clearance misjudged by Stefan Savic allowed Defoe through, who calmly rounded Hart to score. Five minutes later Spurs were level. Aaron Lennon teased the City defence on the left before slipping the ball inside for Bale to score with a first time shot over Joe Hart. From then Spurs appeared to take the game to a nervous looking City. In the 91st minute, another error from Savic led to a pass to Bale who bursting down the wing, placed a measured pass into the centre. Defoe running in was agonizingly short of guiding the ball into the net. Almost immediately, City went to the other end where King, who had arguably been majestic until then brought down Mario Balotelli in the area, the Italian scoring the resulting penalty to win the match.
Spurs may feel City could have had two sent off that may have changed the game; Lescott for an elbow on Kaboul and Balotelli for a stamp on Scott Parker. However, Spurs should take positives. For much of the game they were untroubled by City, showed character to level from two goals down and could have gone on to win the game when putting the Blues defence under periods of pressure. Spurs may have lost but showed they may belong in the top three.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Tottenham v Wigan