Manchester City 3-2 Spurs – as it happened
A Ledley King balls up gave Balotelli the chance to win the game with a last minute penalty.
Image: Well Offside.
90 min + 6: That’s it, it’s full time. That was remarkable. That is a huge win for City, and the pressure is all on United now.
90 min + 4: Goal! Manchester City 3-2 Spurs (Balotelli). Balotelli has a ball bouncing in front of him as he waits to shoot, and Ledley King wraps both legs around the striker, inches away from winning the ball, but he gives away a penalty instead. Balotelli scores! Drives a calm penalty past Friedel, who barely bothered diving. That has to be it. What an ending.
90 min + 3: City passing the ball around Spurs’ box, who have everyone but Defoe back.
91 min: Oh fuck, you prick! Gareth Bale breaks from the centre back, skinning Joleon Lescott, his cross is agonisingly close to Defoe, who can only get the faintest of touches, not enough to do anything but put it out of play.
90 min: There will be four minutes more of this. A good game for five of the ninety.
89 min: Harry Redknapp’s face looks like it’s been CGI’d onto his body.
87 min: Spurs now have their turn with the ball after some City possession, and they’re content to pass the ball between defence and midfield until Walker launches the ball towards Defoe, who injures himself running for it, but he’s alreet now. Aaron Lennon is replaced by Steve Pienaar, who must be overjoyed he left Everton for this.
85 min: Nasri crosses with the outside of his right boot, but David Silva gives away the foul with a high foot at the near post on Kaboul. Both teams seem afraid to go all out to win.
83 min: Few chances in the last couple of minutes. Both teams look tired, with more and more injuries taking their toll on the fluency. Balotelli accidentally kicks Scott Parker in the head, twice, as he rebalances after a shot.
78 min: Jermain Defoe put clear with another long ball, but he decides progress would be best guaranteed by hitting the ball at Lescott’s calf. It isn’t. Balotelli goes into the box for tripping Assou-Ekotto from behind, which is rather harsh, but Howard Webb is witless.
77 min: A City free kick from deep is headed wide by Balotelli, but he should have won a corner after it came off a defender’s heid almost right away. City are coming back into this.
74 min: Gael Clichy stoops at the back post to intercept Bale’s cross for the oncoming Lennon, giving away a corner. Hartdog points his instructions, and Modric’s corner is headed away. Bale picks the ball up, has one shot repelled, and so pokes the ball right for Aaron Lennon. The winger tricks his way towards goal but his low shot is stopped easily by Joe Hart. Younes Kaboul has gone down, having taken a forearm to the face from Joleon Lescott. It seemed a rough challenge, but one that referees wouldn’t like to give a penalty for.
73 min: Kyle Walker does something unspeakably pointless.
71 min: Tottenham’s corner have been woeful today, but Lennon sets up Modric to shoot from distance from the right. It’s always rising and moving away from the goal, but it’s not far off at all.
71 min: After another corner, this time on the right after Scott Parker pickpocketed Richard’s with his head, before he could shoot, Friedel claims the ball. It’s nonstop stuff, though, as Savic concedes a corner from Assou-Ekotto’s fierce ball in.
69 min: Samir Nasri’s corner is cleared by Ledley King for another.
68 min: The quiet Van der Vaart is replaced by Jake Livermore.
65 min! Bloody Hell! Goal! Manchester City 2-2 Spurs (Bale). Two teams trying to bottle this simultaneously. Lennon regains the ball on the left, he cuts the ball back to Bale on the D, and he unleashes a left foot curler into the corner, leaning back almost like Beckham in 1999 vs Arsenal
64 min: Nasri’s low shot is blocked by Scott Parker, so City now have a corner, and Ledley King hoofs it to Lennon to break on the left, until he’s tackled. Mario Balotelli is warming up.
62 min: Now Dzeko hits the bar from fifteen yards!
60 min: Goal! Manchester City 2-1 Spurs (Defoe). A long ball over the top is headed backwards by Savic, allowing Defoe to nip in, taking the ball around Hart and sliding the ball in from a tightish angle. A good finish, and annoying as I’d just updated the score.
58 min: Goal! Manchester City 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Lescott). Silva, who’s started trying, goes on a run into the box, his cross turned away by Kaboul for a corner. Nasri takes, and the ball hits Lescott as he falls to the floor about a yard from goal, putting the ball in the goal in the process.
55 min: Goal! Manchester City 1-0 Spurs (Nasri) Advancing from midfield, Silva threads a simple ball forward for Samir Nasri, about twenty yards out, and the Frenchman whips an unstoppable shot past Friedel! He’s been terrible for thirteen months, but what a strike.
53 min: Bale attacks down the right, but his cross is headed out by Richards – I’m guessing here – for a corner. I expect it’ll be wasted, like all the others, and it is. Played backed to Bale on the edge of the area, and he clips a shot at a defender. Moments later he has a chance to shoot from about five yards further forward, and he falls over in the process of shooting.
51 min: Gareth Bale bursts forward, and James Milner makes a brilliant sliding tackle just as he’s about to shoot from the edge of the box. Now Aguero has it and it’s his turn to break down the right, earning a free kick as Scott Parker puts a knee into the back of his.
49 min: And Van der Vaart finishes the attack by putting the ball into the crowd with a sliced shot. This is all a bit pointless still.
47 min: STUFF. Aguero bundles his way into the box, and the ball is laid off to Dzeko to cross. Friedel flaps it clear, and Richards is able to get the ball on the right, but his cross deflects of Kaboul’s arm for a corner. Nasri, looking the least bothered man in the world, wins another after the first is wasted, and his attempt is cleared to Defoe on the halfway line.
45 min: We’re off again, as will I be the fucking second this game is over. I’d like to think that the last half was the low point, but I know what time it is.
And if you want goals, these people have goals #twitfam #hashtagsmakemegenuinelysuicidal.
I advise you to listen to the song on the bottom right of the page.
45 min: Presumably there’s some fat, prose-abusing tactics-obsessed cunt finding this absolutely enthralling, but it’s half time, and it couldn’t come sooner.
44 min: Still guff.
42 min: This is toss.
38 min: Richards is bundled off the ball before he can cross, and I’m writing this down for the want of anything actually happening.
36 min: Kaboul blasts it over, which is sums up the game so far.
35 min: Bale knocks the ball past Lescott, who blocks him, earning Spurs a free kick to the left of goal, Van der Vaart to take. This could be dangerous.
32 min: Spurs have a couple of minutes of possession, and earn free kick with a trip on Modric on the left. The play is spread wide to Walker, who stands a cross up at the back post, which is eventually cleared after a Van der Vaart shot. Are Manchester City going to play better any time soon? Because they could win the league if they wanted.
30: Richards advances down the right, cuts inside and passes to Aguero. Aguero does well to find space amongst four defenders, but can only shoot straight at Friedel. Richards wins the ball back and earns a corner. It’s again not able to reach the near post.
29 min: A laughably poor cross from Nasri, who really is displaying all the courage of a man who ditched his team by acting the arsehole.
26 min: Aguero gets in down the left but slices a shot yards wide from close range. It’s poor stuff all round. Incidentally, I know the location of my nemesis, what should I do about that? I say planting a bomb, but I’d need to be quick.
24 min: The best email of the day, and indictment of the other efforts:
22 min: Fair to say both teams would benefit from Adebayor today, as nobody’s got much about them. Dzeko almost gets in round the back from some loose Spurs’ play being intercepted, but he’s offside.
2o min: Spurs win a corner on the left. The enormous Kaboul ambles forward, but after a few passes between Modric and Van der Vaart, it’s cleared to Scott Parker by Savic, who pulls a shot wide. This isn’t much fun, I’ll level with you.
14: Feted twink Gareth Bale steams down the left, putting in an excellent low cross along the box, but nobody from either team can get to it. That’s the best opportunity for Spurs so far, and it wasn’t all that.
13 min: Aguero is given yards of space on the edge of the box, he advances a few yards, jinks past Scott Parker, and blasts a shot off Ledley King to earn a corner. The corner is hilariously bad, going twenty yards along the ground. Aaron Lennon breaks, and puts a weak left footed cross in, as if symbolising the futility inherent in life.
10 min: Gael Clichy is booked for being incredibly thick. Imagine NBA Jam, and ‘Rejected!’ and transplant that to blocking a throw in.
9 min: No penetration to either sides’ attacks, but there’s a lot of sprinting from the edge of one team’s box to the other. I’d be surprised if either team keeps a clean sheet today, but I’m no expert.
8 min: Van der Vaart passes to Lennon, whose first touch breaks down the opportunity.
6 min: Gareth Bale runs in a straight line down the left, so Savic has no problems dispossessing him. Spurs win the ball back and Kyle Walker runs in a straight line down the right, and Gael Clichy bundles him over instead of tackling.
4 min: Brad Friedel receives a back pass and punts it clear. I might have been wrong with my two keeper theory. Luka Modric’s pass is missed by Assou-Ekotto and the City fans cheer sarcastically. Wit.
3 min: I’m eating cake.
2 min: A furious start to the match, with no skill and lots of hard tackles. If it stays like that, I’ll have nothing to write for 88 minutes. I’ll take it.
1 min: The amount of streaming I do these days is rapidly improving my Spanish.
I see Ian Walker has come out of retirement, so Spurs will be starting with two goalkeepers. It could work.
Ahead of the other game this afternoon, take a look at some electrifying football history, with three classic Arsenal vs Manchester United games.
Preamble: Well, this is a delight. Two chancers of the 21st century, who both happen to be excellent managers. Mancini doesn’t get flapped where others would go fucking mental, he just indulges in a wee spot of hypocrisy now and then. That’s par for a manager’s course though. Redknapp however, really taxes me. If he’s not evading the question somewhere, he’s complaining that his strikers can’t do as well as his wife, who is probably at home laundering the clothes.
Manchester City have spluttered recently, but Tottenham have as much guts left as a dead pig at St John. The spleen, heart, kidneys and liver have already been devoured, and now we can watch the head getting braised, as Manchester City stick four past them. Unless, of course, they grow a pair.
They won’t grow a pair.
Football, it just keeps happening! Join me.
Team news, it’s yours to glance at and forget:
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Milner, Silva, Agüero, Nasri, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Kolarov, Onuoha, De Jong, Balotelli.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Defoe.
Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Dawson, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pienaar.