Match Preview: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
City of Manchester Stadium, Eastlands, Manchester (Capacity: 47,726)
Wednesday 5th May 2010, Kick Off 20:00
Premier League, Match 37
Manchester City: 5th in Premier League, 66 points from 108
Tottenham Hotspur: 4th in Premier League, 67 points from 108
Referee: Steve Bennett
Assistant referees: Jake Collin & Martin Yerby
Fourth official: Lee Probert
There can be few matches played between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the last 101 years with more importance than Wednesday's Premier League clash, which will go a long way to decide which of the two clubs will win the coveted fourth place finish and with it the opportunity to play Champions League football next season. With Spurs currently one point ahead of City, a draw will certainly favour the Londoners so while the match is a must win one for Manchester City, it is a must not lose one for Tottenham. City's last match of the season is a very tricky away visit to struggling West Ham United while Spurs travel to already relegated Burnley.
Tottenham have a quite remarkable Premier League record against Manchester City, having taken 58 out of a possible 75 points, including a comprehensive 3-0 win at White Hart Lane earlier this season when Croatian Niko Kranjcar bagged a brace and Jermain Defoe scored another. Last season, Spurs did the "double" over City with two 2-1 wins, the first coming at Eastlands where Darren Bent (now with Sunderland) scored twice followed by the match at White Hart Lane where Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane (currently on loan to Celtic) were the Spurs goalscorers. Another "double" for Spurs over City this season will ensure Spurs finish in fourth place regardless of the outcome of the last game of the season.
Spurs have already smashed their previous best Premier League points haul of 65 points set during season 2005-06 and they have the potential to add another six points to the 67 points already amassed during this season. Manchester City are also enjoying their finest season in the Premier League and the 66 points they have won easilly beats their previous record of 57 points set in season 1992-93, when there were 42 games played during the season.
Tottenham's current squad includes former City defender Vedran Corluka while City's emergency loan goalkeeper obtained from Sunderland, Márton Fülöp, was on Spurs' books from 2004 to 2007.
Harry Redknapp is waiting on the fitness of Heurelho Gomes and Ledley King ahead of Wednesday night's (May 5) crunch match at City.
The big question is whether or not Ledley's troublesome knee will settle down in time to play two matches in the space of five days after another fine display against Bolton on Saturday. "It's a case of waiting to see how he is and how he recovers from the weekend," said Harry before training on Tuesday. "He will come out today and have a loosener with us and then we'll make a decision. I'll leave it to Ledley. If he feels he's fit and he's up for playing, he'll tell me. If he's not quite right, he'll tell me. He knows his body and how his knee is feeling and he will let me know."
Goalkeeper Gomes picked up a groin injury in the final minutes of Saturday's 1-0 win against Bolton. "Again, we'll see how he is today," said Harry. "He didn't train yesterday (Monday) and he won't do too much today. "He's been top drawer, a fantastic goalkeeper but if he's not fit Ben Alnwick will play and Jimmy Walker will be on the bench. We hope he's fit because he's important to us. I'm hopeful."
Vedran Corluka (ankle) is still out alongside long-term absentees Niko Kranjcar (ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (groin) and Carlo Cudicini (wrist, pelvis).
Manchester City will be hoping Joleon Lescott is fit again but injuries to Shay Given, Gareth Barry, Stuart Taylor, Martin Petrov and Michael Johnson will rule them all out for Wednesday night.
• Tottenham have won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the sides in all competitions, and 10 of the last 11 in the Premier League.
• City's only league win against Spurs in the last seven years was the 2-1 home victory in March 2008. City's scorers that day were Stephen Ireland and Nedum Onuoha.
• City have lost just six Premier League games this season. They have never lost fewer than seven top flight games in a season.
• City have only won three of their last six home matches in the Premier League.
• City's top scorer Carlos Tevez, who could make his 100th Premier League start, needs one more goal to bring up his half century in the Premier League.
• Tottenham have won eight of their last 10 league games and scored in all of the last 10.
• Spurs have won just two of their eight away games in the Premier League since Christmas - at Stoke and Wigan.
• Spurs have won all 17 league games in which they have led at half-time.
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS:
Manchester City (W 3-1 Aston Villa H)
Fulop, Bridge, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, A Johnson (Wright-Phillips 77), Vieira, De Jong, Adebayor, Tevez (Richards 88), Bellamy
Substitutes: Nielsen, Onuoha, Garrido, Sylvinho, Santa Cruz
Yellow Card: Kompany
Goals: Tevez (pen) 41, Adebayor 43, Bellamy 89
Tottenham Hotspur (W 1-0 Bolton Wanderers H)
Gomes, Kaboul, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley (Lennon 73), Huddlestone, Modric, Bale, Defoe (Crouch 72), Pavlyuchenko (Gudjohnsen 87)
Substitutes: Alnwick, Bassong, Palacios, Jenas
Goal: Huddlestone 38
MICHAEL DAWSON ON MANCHESTER CITY
Michael Dawson has summed up what tonight means. Victory over Manchester City at Eastlands will mean Champions League football next season for the first time in our history. And the defender, who scooped every Player of the Season award going at the Club last week, is relishing the occasion. He said: "You couldn't pick a better fixture to be your penultimate game of the season. The rewards if we win are massive and we're all looking forward to it."
The 26-year-old was part of the side that suffered final day disappointment at West Ham in 2006 when we lost our grip on a place in Europe's premier competition in heartbreaking circumstances. But ‘Daws' is aiming to consign that day well and truly to the history books by helping a team he has seen progress ever since reach the promised land. He added: "We've come a long way in the last four years. There are a number of players still here who were involved in that final day at West Ham when it just wasn't to be and we missed out. But let's hope this season ends on a high and ends tonight with a win, then we can go to Burnley on the final day and relax. The lads know what us playing Champions League football will mean to everyone involved - it would be a great achievement."
City, just a point behind us in fifth place, stand in our way and ‘Daws' knows how tough tonight will be. But the England World Cup hopeful also makes reference to the fact that we have only ever lost once in eight games at the City of Manchester Stadium, winning five, as well as defeating our rivals comfortably at the Lane in December. ‘Daws' concludes: "We played them earlier in the season and come away with a 3-0 win after a fantastic performance but they're a good team and they've been fighting us all the way for this fourth spot - there have been a number of teams involved but they're the ones we haven't been able to shake off. We know it's going to be a tough game but whenever we've gone to City we've always seemed to have good results and good performances, so let's hope there will be another one tonight."
Wednesday evening's match will be the 140th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.
The two clubs contested the 1981 FA Cup Final and subsequent Replay which Spurs won 3-2.
Here are the results of the previous 139 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
16-Jan-1909F.A. Cup 1 20,000A W 4 - 3 Morris (pen), Minter (2), Steel R 27-Dec-10Division 1 28,000H D 1 - 1 Tull 03-Jan-11Division 1 10,000A L 1 - 2 Kennedy 05-Apr-12Division 1 39,800A L 1 - 2 Newman 08-Apr-12Division 1 20,000H L 0 - 2 25-Dec-12Division 1 30,000A D 2 - 2 Cantrell, Middlemiss 26-Dec-12Division 1 20,000H W 4 - 0 Minter, Cantrell (3) 27-Sep-13Division 1 30,513H W 3 - 1 Minter (2), Cantrell 24-Jan-14Division 1 30,000A L 1 - 2 Sparrow 31-Jan-14F.A. Cup 2 36,256A L 1 - 2 Bliss 26-Sep-14Division 1 13,000A L 1 - 2 Sparrow 15-Mar-15Division 1 6,000H D 2 - 2 Minter, Sparrow 12-Feb-21Division 1 32,000H W 2 - 0 Cantrell, Dimmock 09-Mar-21Division 1 30,000A L 0 - 2 04-Feb-22Division 1 20,000A D 3 - 3 Wilson, Bliss (2) 11-Feb-22Division 1 43,000H W 3 - 1 Grimsdell, Bliss, Dimmock 18-Feb-22F.A. Cup 3 53,810H W 2 - 1 Wilson, Bliss 03-Mar-23Division 1 27,963H W 3 - 1 Walden, Seed, Handley 14-Mar-23Division 1 25,000A L 0 - 3 01-Jan-24Division 1 24,000A L 0 - 1 21-Apr-24Division 1 11,739H W 4 - 1 Elkes, Lindsay, Hargreaves (2) 10-Nov-24Division 1 10,781H D 1 - 1 Smith 02-May-25Division 1 10,000A L 0 - 1 05-Sep-25Division 1 35,594H W 1 - 0 Seed 16-Jan-26Division 1 25,244A D 0 - 0 11-Jan-30F.A. Cup 3 37,000H D 2 - 2 Osborne, Cook 14-Jan-30F.A. Cup 3 Replay37,716A L 1 - 4 Thompson 02-Dec-33Division 1 38,021A L 0 - 2 14-Apr-34Division 1 24,576H W 5 - 1 O'Callaghan (2), Hunt GS (2), Evans W 03-Nov-34Division 1 28,802A L 1 - 3 Evans W 12-Jan-35F.A. Cup 3 48,983H W 1 - 0 Evans W 16-Mar-35Division 1 43,572H D 0 - 0 05-Nov-38Division 2 47,998A L 0 - 2 11-Mar-39Division 2 27,426H L 2 - 3 Hitchens, Hall GW 28-Sep-46Division 2 55,253H D 0 - 0 01-Feb-47Division 2 41,645A L 0 - 1 06-Oct-51Division 1 58,163H L 1 - 2 Bennett 16-Feb-52Division 1 39,080A D 1 - 1 Walters 27-Aug-52Division 1 33,621A W 1 - 0 Duquemin 01-Sep-52Division 1 41,113H D 3 - 3 Ramsey (pen), McClellan, Robb 24-Oct-53Division 1 37,577H W 3 - 0 Duquemin, Robb (2) 30-Jan-54F.A. Cup 4 51,182A W 1 - 0 Bennett 17-Mar-54Division 1 9,984A L 1 - 4 Marchi 11-Dec-54Division 1 27,052A D 0 - 0 05-Mar-55Division 1 35,358H D 2 - 2 Duquemin (2) 12-Nov-55Division 1 24,094A W 2 - 1 McClellan, Dunmore 17-Mar-56F.A. Cup SF 69,788SF L 0 - 1 24-Mar-56Division 1 31,622H W 2 - 1 Brooks (pen), Smith R 22-Aug-56Division 1 32,718A D 2 - 2 Medwin, Brooks 29-Aug-56Division 1 33,443H W 3 - 2 Medwin, Harmer (pen), Smith R 28-Sep-57Division 1 22,497A L 1 - 5 Brannigan og 08-Feb-58Division 1 37,539H W 5 - 1 Smith R (3), Brooks, Robb 01-Nov-58Division 1 30,601A L 1 - 5 Smith R 21-Mar-59Division 1 34,493H W 3 - 1 Medwin, Smith R, Jones (pen) 31-Oct-59Division 1 45,506A W 2 - 1 Mackay, Jones 16-Apr-60Division 1 49,767H L 0 - 1 10-Oct-60Division 1 58,916H D 1 - 1 Smith R 25-Feb-61Division 1 40,278A W 1 - 0 Medwin 14-Oct-61Division 1 40,561H W 2 - 0 Medwin, White, Greaves (2), Jones 03-Mar-62Division 1 31,706A L 2 - 6 Greaves (2) 01-Sep-62Division 1 48,758H W 4 - 2 Blanchflower (pen), Medwin, Greaves, Jones 11-May-63Division 1 27,784A L 0 - 1 08-Oct-66Division 1 32,551A W 2 - 1 Gilzean (2) 25-Feb-67Division 1 33,832H D 1 - 1 Robertson 09-Dec-67Division 1 35,792A L 1 - 4 Greaves 04-May-68Division 1 51,242H L 1 - 3 Greaves (pen) 12-Oct-68Division 1 38,019A L 0 - 4 14-Dec-68Division 1 28,462H D 1 - 1 England 01-Mar-69F.A. Cup 6 48,872A L 0 - 1 13-Sep-69Division 1 41,644H L 0 - 3 13-Dec-69Division 1 29,216A D 1 - 1 Johnson 26-Sep-70Division 1 42,490H W 2 - 0 Gilzean, Chivers 01-May-71Division 1 19,761A W 1 - 0 Perryman 28-Aug-71Division 1 33,683A L 0 - 4 08-Jan-72Division 1 36,470H D 1 - 1 Peters 16-Sep-72Division 1 31,755A L 1 - 2 Peters 10-Feb-73Division 1 30,944H L 2 - 3 Chivers (2) 15-Dec-73Division 1 17,066H L 0 - 2 02-Feb-74Division 1 24,652A D 0 - 0 21-Aug-74Division 1 31,549A L 0 - 1 28-Aug-74Division 1 20,079H L 1 - 2 Peters 18-Oct-75Division 1 30,554H D 2 - 2 Jones (2) 22-Nov-75Division 1 31,457A L 1 - 2 Osgood 11-Dec-76Division 1 24,608H D 2 - 2 Taylor (2) 07-May-77Division 1 37,919A L 0 - 5 23-Sep-78Division 1 43,471A L 0 - 2 03-Feb-79Division 1 32,037H L 0 - 3 01-Sep-79Division 1 30,901H W 2 - 1 Jones, Hoddle 12-Jan-80Division 1 34,837A D 1 - 1 Hoddle 22-Oct-80Division 1 28,788A L 1 - 3 Hoddle 13-Dec-80Division 1 23,883H W 2 - 1 Archibald, Hoddle 09-May-81F.A. Cup Final 100,000WembleyD 1 - 1 Hutchinson og 14-May-81F.A. Cup Final Replay 96,000WembleyW 3 - 2 Villa (2), Crooks 26-Sep-81Division 1 39,085A W 1 - 0 Falco 20-Feb-82Division 1 46,181H W 2 - 0 Hoddle (2, 1pen) 11-Sep-82Division 1 32,483H L 1 - 2 Mabbutt 05-Feb-83Division 1 26,357A D 2 - 2 Gibson, Brooke (pen) 16-Aug-84Friendly - A W 2 - 0 Roberts (pen), Galvin 31-Aug-85Division 1 27,789A L 1 - 2 Miller 18-Jan-86Division 1 17,009H L 0 - 2 30-Aug-86Division 1 23,164H W 1 - 0 Roberts 15-Apr-87Division 1 21,460A D 1 - 1 Claesen 28-Aug-89Division 1 32,004A D 1 - 1 Gascoigne 13-Jan-90Division 1 26,384H D 1 - 1 Howells 25-Aug-90Division 1 33,501H W 3 - 1 Gascoigne, Lineker (2) 15-Dec-90Division 1 31,236A L 1 - 2 Gascoigne 19-Oct-91Division 1 30,502H L 0 - 1 01-Feb-92Division 1 30,123A L 0 - 1 28-Oct-92League Cup 3 18,399A W 1 - 0 Samways 28-Nov-92FA Prem 25,496A W 1 - 0 Watson 07-Mar-93F.A. Cup 6 34,050A W 4 - 2 Nayim (3), Sedgley 24-Mar-93FA Prem 27,247H W 3 - 1 Anderton, Nayim, Turner 21-Aug-93FA Prem 24,535H W 1 - 0 Sedgley 11-Dec-93FA Prem 21,566A W 2 - 0 Dozzell (2) 22-Oct-94FA Prem 25,473A L 2 - 5 Dumitrescu (2, 1pen) 11-Apr-95FA Prem 27,410H W 2 - 1 Howells, Klinsmann 19-Aug-95FA Prem 30,827A D 1 - 1 Sheringham 13-Jan-96FA Prem 31,438H W 1 - 0 Armstrong 23-Sep-2000FA Prem 36,069H D 0 - 0 10-Feb-01FA Prem 34,399A W 1 - 0 Rebrov 23-Dec-02FA Prem 39,563A W 3 - 2 Perry, Davies, Poyet 18-Apr-03FA Prem 36,075H L 0 - 2 28-Sep-03FA Prem 46,842A D 0 - 0 03-Dec-03League Cup 4 31,727H W 3 - 1 Anderton, Postiga, Kanoute 25-Jan-04F.A. Cup 4 47,000A D 1 - 1 Doherty 03-Feb-04F.A. Cup 4 Replay30,400H L 3 - 4 King, Keane, Ziege 12-Apr-04FA Prem 35,282H D 1 - 1 Defoe 11-Dec-04FA Prem 45,805A W 1 - 0 Kanoute 19-Mar-05FA Prem 35,681H W 2 - 1 Defoe, Keane 04-Jan-06FA Prem 40,808A W 2 - 0 Mido, Keane 08-Apr-06FA Prem 36,167H W 2 - 1 Stalteri, Carrick 17-Dec-06FA Prem 39,825A W 2 - 1 Davenport, Huddlestone 13-May-07FA Prem 35,426H W 2 - 1 Keane, Berbatov 09-Dec-07FA Prem 35,646H W 2 - 1 Chimbonda, Defoe 15-Mar-08FA Prem 40,188A L 1 - 2 Keane 18-Dec-07League Cup 5 38,564A W 2 - 0 Defoe, Malbranque 09-Nov-08FA Prem 41,853A W 2 - 1 Bent (2) 16-May-09FA Prem 36,000 H W 2 - 1 Defoe, Keane (pen) 16-Dec-09FA Prem 35,891H W 3 - 0 Kranjcar (2), Defoe
LAST TIME WE MET...
Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Manchester City
White Hart Lane, Wednesday 16th December 2009, Premier League, Matchday 17
Tottenham put their pursuit of the top four back on track with a deserved victory over fellow Champions League hopefuls Manchester City.
Niko Kranjcar put Spurs ahead, tapping in after Stephen Ireland had blocked Peter Crouch's initial header. Jermain Defoe's 14th goal of the season, a superb first-time finish from eight yards, proved decisive. Kranjcar drove in from the right and finished with aplomb to add the polish to an accomplished Spurs performance.
The victory is Tottenham's 18th win over City in 25 Premier League meetings, but represents something far greater. Following lavish summer outlays, strong starts of their own and stuttering early form from the established elite, the top four aspirations of these two have come in for heavy scrutiny. Spurs' win puts their pursuit of Champions League football back on track after the 1-0 home loss to Wolves on Saturday and leaves them two points shy of fourth-placed Aston Villa. However City's defeat, while only their second of the season, represents further lost points in a campaign that has seen them draw over half their fixtures and win just one of their last 10 league matches.
And on this evidence of this, it is easy to see why City have failed to win more frequently. They enjoyed concerted spells of possession throughout the match but fashioned precious little to hurt Spurs. Long-range efforts from Carlos Tevez and Robinho - the first flashed wide, the second tipped over by Heurelho Gomes - were all the visitors had to show for their monopolisation of the football in the first half.
In contrast, home advantage dictated a more direct approach from Spurs who regularly sought to release Aaron Lennon with long passes.
The winger gave warning of the threat he posed in the eighth minute, running into space down the right before pulling back for Kranjcar in the box only for the Croatian to put his 15-yard shot wide. It would be half an hour before the pacy England man's second meaningful foray, but it was a telling one. He collected the ball on the right, skipped past Sylvinho and hung up a cross for Crouch, whose goal-bound header struck Ireland and gave the simplest of tap-ins for Kranjcar to finish a move he had started. The home side revelled in the breakthrough and a minute later were only denied a second by a combination of City defender Kolo Toure and keeper Shay Given who combined to block Crouch's effort after he had been found by Defoe in the box.
Half time gave City brief respite, but 10 minutes into the second half Spurs delivered the decisive blow to City's hopes of taking something from the game. A deep free-kick from Gomes was met by Crouch, easily out jumping Nedum Onuoha in the area, and his header looped over Toure on the edge of the six-yard box, where Defoe was lurking to clinically dispatch into the top corner of the net.
The finish was every inch that of a player claiming his 14th goal in 17 appearances this season. If only Emmanuel Adebayor could have shown such predatory instinct the game may not have been lost for the visitors.
Unfortunately his radar deserted him when played in by Ireland in the 67th minute and his shot was both high and wide. With just three minutes remaining he was guilty of an even worse miss when substitute Martin Petrov's deep ball found him unmarked eight yards out only for his sliding effort to balloon over the bar. There was still enough time remaining for Spurs to compound the visitors' woe. Lennon and Crouch took a short corner allowing the former to feed Kranjcar, who nipped the ball past a static Adebayor before slotting under Given for his second of the game.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp:
"That was as good as we've played over the 90 minutes. We never let off. All the chances were created by us, it was a great performance by us. Niko (Kranjcar) was fantastic, Aaron (Lennon) was brilliant. They all worked well, the whole team defended well, every one of them."
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes:
"We didn't hit any kind of level," he said. "For the first 30 minutes we took the game to them but in terms of producing a real threat we were not creating. We were disappointed at half-time as we thought we should have done better with the goal. The second killed us.
There are no excuses, we missed personnel but we had a team good enough to get a positive result."
Gomes, Corluka, Bassong, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto (Bale 90+5), Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe (Jenas 90+2)
Substitutes: Alnwick, Hutton, Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Keane
Yellow Cards: Palacios, Kranjcar
Goals: Kranjcar 37, Defoe 54, Kranjcar 90+3
Given, Richards, Onuoha, Sylvinho, Toure, Ireland, Barry, De Jong (Petrov 71), Robinho (Santa Cruz 59), Adebayor, Tevez
Substitutes: Taylor, Zabaleta, Kompany, Weiss, Mwaruwari
Yellow Cards: Silvinho, De Jong, Tevez
Referee: Alan Wiley Attendance: 35,891