Late Fight Back As Tottenham Defeat Manchester City


Tottenham recovered from conceding an early goal to defeat Manchester City at White Hart with three goals in seven second half minutes from Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale. The win keeps Tottenham in control of their own destiny as they are only two points behind Arsenal with a game in hand.

Tottenham Hotspur 3  Manchester City 1

Scorers: Dempsey, Defoe, Bale    Nasri

Team: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Parker (Huddlestone), Dembele; Dempsey, Bale, Sigurdsson (Holtby); Adebayor (Defoe) Subs: (unused) Friedel, Caulker, Naughton, Livermore

Michael Dawson shows how much it meant to win against City. [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]The good news for Tottenhamwas the return to fitness of Bale who started the game and Defoe who was among the substitutes. For an hour City were the more composed and controlled team with Spurs struggling to make an impression going forward. The introduction of Tom Huddlestone and Lewis Holtby changed the match as Andre Villas-Boas went to a 4 – 3 – 3 formation. Within 15 minutes Spurs took the first step towards their win.

Tottenham started brightly at White Hart Lane where the crowd gave them total support but were hit by an early goal from Nasri who was later fortunate to remain on the pitch with a high challenge on Kyle Walker. City presented a robust side to their game but were more composed and controlled in possession while Tottenham’s play was frantic and desperate matching their need and desire for a win.

Tottenham can feel annoyed at two penalty decisions which went against them in the first half but they were caught out after four minutes when Tevez retained possession while under pressure and played Milner into the area. His pulled back cross found Nasri who beat Lloris with Walker trying to clear at the post.

Tottenham were rattled by the set-back and City looked threatening when in possession with Tevez a constant threat. He set up Nasri who shot wide and then brought a save from Lloris with a low header. Spurs did, however, manage to trouble City as they moved forward. Gareth Bale had a shot deflected which ended up in Hart’s hands. Walker had a great chance to bring Spurs level when played in by Clint Dempsey but he delayed and Hart came out quickly to block. In the final minutes of the half, Dempsey headed over from a corner and then a cross from the right in added time reached Emmanuel Adebayor and then Gylfi Siggurdson whose shot was blocked by a scrambling City defence.

Tom Huddlestone changed course of match. [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]The second half opened quietly with neither side really threatening but City looking comfortable. On the hour Villas-Boas made a bold tactical switch, going to 4 – 3 – 3 by replacing Sigurdsson and Parker with Holtby and Huddlestone. Holtby scurried all over the pitch, Huddlestone sprayed passes around the pitch and Bale threatened from the right. Spurs now had greater possession and made much better use of it. Bale headed over from a corner and Defoe replaced Adebayor with twenty minutes to play. Dempsey had a shot straight at Hart.

It all came together after 75 minutes when after some Tottenham pressure, Walker collected a City clearance. He played Bale in on the right and his inch perfect cross found Dempsey lurking at the far post to bring the scores level.

Four minutes later, Holtby picked up the ball in midfield and played in Defoe on the right of the area. He fired across Hart to score his first Tottenham goal of 2013 and add to his collection of goals after coming on as a substitute. White Hart Lane was rocking as supporters urged Spurs on against a shell-shocked City and three minutes later it was Bale who scored after being played into the area by Huddlestone, for his 18th goal of the season.

Tottenham were comfortable through the final minutes, taking the three crucial points to warn Chelsea and Arsenal that they haven’t given up of a Champions League finish.

A great result – well played Spurs – you always showed willing but it was so frantic that it lacked control. Well done Andre Villas-Boas for the tactical switches which altered the course of the game and possibly of Tottenham’s season.