Tottenham Hotspur came out victors on what proved to be the most vital match of both sides’ seasons on Wednesday. Tottenham are now guaranteed the fourth and final Champions League spot this season, the spot that has so eluded teams outside of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in seasons gone by.
It marks the first time in 20 years that Spurs will finish in the top 4, a great achievement, marked by a crucial victory at Eastlands against Roberto Mancini’s side.
City started the much stronger of the two sides, creating a number of chances within the first 15 minutes, however they were unable to convert any of those chances into goals. Spurs grew in confidence as the half wore on, and found themselves dominating large periods of the first half. The most notable of either sides chances fell to Peter Crouch in the 20th minute when he met a free kick from Gareth Bale with his head. Unfortnately his effort hit the woodwork. Moments later Ledley King had the ball in the back of the City net. But referee Steve Bennett was quick to disallow the goal as replays showed King climbing all over the Spurs defender before his header.
City came out stronger in the second half, and again started brightly but they were mostly confined to having opportunistic shots from long range, which rarely troubled Gomes’ goal. The tension was obvious as the second half went on, and neither side could find that vital goal they needed in order to claim fourth spot.
However Peter Crouch, brought in to start instead of Roman Pavlyuchenko on the night, broke the deadlock with only 10 minutes remaining of the match. A deflected Kaboul cross was beaten away by City stand in keeper Martin Fulop. Unfortunately it fell straight to Peter Crouch who made no mistake in heading the ball into the back of the City net.
City failed to threaten during the final ten minutes, and the match ended Manchester City 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur, meaning Harry Redknapp and his side can start planning for life with Europe’s big boys next season.
Peter Crouch Goal