Monday, 22 April 2013

Match Reflection: Tottenham 3 - 1 Manchester City

Tottenham comeback all but ends title race

By Aaron Leggott

Three goals in seven minutes from Tottenham Hotspur all but ended City's league campaign for this season as Spurs strengthened their Champions League hopes with an emphatic win against the Champions. 

Manchester United can secure their 20th league title with a win at home to relegation candidates Aston Villa tonight and it is a disappointing way to concede defeat to our rivals with five games yet to play.

City, who were without both Sergio Aguero and David Silva through hamstring injuries, started off the better side and took the lead inside the first five minutes thanks to a Samir Nasri goal.

Samir Nasri opens the scoring
Official MCFC Facebook

The Frenchman finished off a brilliant counter attacking move originating from the individual brilliance of Carlos Tevez, as he wriggled away from Jan Vertonghen before finding James Milner with a reverse pass as the English winger's cross found Nasri unmarked. 

It seems that Roberto Mancini's strong words after the win at home to Newcastle have seemed to work in favour of Nasri, who has put in four top class performances since.

Tottenham went into the game on the back of a 10 day rest since their Europa League exit and whilst the visitors last played in midweek - they were the ones full of energy as Andre Villas Boas' side produced a lethargic first half performance. 

In truth, City should have found themselves further in front as Nasri poked the ball wide after Tevez set him up with a perfect pass before Hugo Lloris stopped the Argentinian from grabbing a goal himself as he instinctively kept out the ball from Tevez's header off a corner. 

The Blues were punished for not pushing on further during the second half though and Villas Boas' substitutions on the hour mark made an instant difference.

Tom Huddlestone, Lewis Holtby and Jermain Defoe all came on for Scott Parker, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Emmanuel Adebayor and they looked to produce more fight than those who were originally on the field.

Huddlestone, in particular, dealt with City's midfield brilliantly and played a part in the quick turnaround. 

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the third
Official Tottenham Facebook
With 15 minutes to play, Gareth Bale finally came out of the shadows as he produced a clever cross with the outside of his foot; the outcome seeing Clint Dempsey grab his 6th league goal of the season from close range.

Perhaps Tottenham wanted the win more than City with what was arguably their biggest game of the season to date and their desire showed as Defoe marked his return from injury to give Spurs the lead with a wonderful curling effort just four minutes later.

And the turn around was complete on 82 minutes, as Bale scored his 9th goal in 12 to top off an emphatic seven minutes for the hosts. With City pushing for an equaliser, Huddlestone broke clear from midfield before setting Bale through with a fantastic pass before the Welshman chipped the ball over Joe Hart. 

It was perhaps what the two teams deserved and it was obvious that the effects of a draining two weeks were finally starting to take it's toll on City as it was all but game over in terms of the title race.

However, Mancini will be certain to push his players right to the end - especially with an FA Cup final on the horizon.


                            City                                                                                     Tottenham
                             45%                                   Possession                                     55%
                            11 (7)                                Shots (on target)                              11 (8)
                               5                                        Corners                                          4
                              10                                         Fouls                                           11

                                                                      Match stats

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

1 comment:

  1. Colin Is The King22 April 2013 at 16:31

    Yes, City paid the price for not scoring a second goal when the chances were there.
    Played superbly for 60 minutes, then OK for the next 10 or so, without looking in any real danger.
    Spurs then took the game away from us, and, to be fair, there were four excellent goals scored.