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West Ham United
11 November 2012
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 47208
S. Agüero 65'
E. Džeko 88'
S. Caulker 21'
So, once again Edin Dzeko comes off the bench to rescue the champions. In truth they deserved it, but Andre Villas-Boas will surely feel he's missed a great opportunity today. Could he have been more adventurous earlier in the second half? Probably. But Mancini took the bold gamble to play three at the back, and it paid off. It's those decisions that win you titles. Thanks for joining us, and enjoy the rest of the football today.
90' + 5'
Bale crosses, Hart collects... and that's it!!! City get the three points today. Great win for the hosts, who showed real strength to overcome a strong Spurs side.
90' + 3'
Bale works hard to cover Toure's marauding run forward, and it looks as though City will see this one out. Frustrating for the visitors, who were so comfortable in the first half - but they never capitalised on their lead.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Five minutes of injury time left here, and Aguero is coming off for Javi Garcia. It was a great finish by the striker to level things up, showing just how important he is to Mancini's side.
SUPER SUB!!! It's that man again, as Dzeko volleys superbly past Friedel after a glorious lobbed through-ball from Silva. Great goal for the hosts, and it's been coming. Spurs have let this one slip away, but it's no more than the champions deserve for their ambition in the second 45 minutes.
It's all City at the moment but do Spurs have anything left? Lennon is coming off for Naughton, so that tells you they'd probably be happy with a draw at this rate.
Clichy almost costs his team here, lazily controlling a hopeful cross from Bale and Defoe is almost in - but the Frenchman recovers and clears. That would've been catastrophic for the hosts.
Friedel saves twice! No marking from Spurs as City work a throw-in and Aguero drives straight at the keeper from 12 yards, and the follow-up is well saved by the American. Moments later Bale breaks down the left and almost finds Dempsey in the centre, but City clear. End to end here...
Silva should score! Aguero is again at the heart of things, and after some neat dribbling he pokes the ball to the Spaniard, who works the space but can only screw the ball wide of Friedel's post from 12 yards.
Close from Kolarov! Good work from Aguero as he eventually feeds the Serbian on the left from 10 yards, but his drive is well blocked by Gallas into the side netting. They've upped the tempo in the last 20 minutes, but can they find that second goal?
Dzeko heads just wide! The tall striker glances a corner towards the back post, and Friedel stands and watches as it ends up just wide of his right-hand post. There was no defender on the back post, and the keeper wasn't moving, so Spurs escape - barely.
Sandro has been flying around the pitch today, doing a tremendous job at the heart of midfield. Walker limps off for the hosts and Michael Dawson comes on - how will that affect things with around 15 minutes to go?
Yellow CardEmmanuel Adebayor
Zabaleta and Adebayor clash again here, and the striker picks up a booking for a crude challenge on the defender. The defender is left with a bloodied nose as the forward flew across him. While there's red running down Zabaleta's face, don't be surprised to see a different red before this one is finished.
Toure loses out to Bale and the winger rides two or three challenges before stinging Hart's hands with a strong shot. That was almost a really special goal from the Welshman.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a super sub! Edin Dzeko replaces Tevez with 20 minutes to win the game.
Tevez drags a cross-shot just wide of Friedel's right-hand post - a yard either side and he'd probably have ended up with a goal or an assist.
Yaya Toure is down injured after a collision with Sandro - the Spurs midfielder doesn't pull any punches, and it's rare to see the Ivorian down for this long. The City player should be fine to carry on though.
City are up for this now and close to a second as Maicon drives a low ball across goal which nobody can get on the end of. Bale wasted a great chance of a break as he elected to shoot instead of crossing from the left - it's been a poor day for the Welshman.
CITY EQUALISE!!! It's scrappy, but Aguero shows real class to find a low finish past Friedel from 12 yards. Poor defending from the visitors, who had chances to clear the ball and failed to stop David Silva or Yaya Toure from smuggling the ball through courtesy of a deflection or two, but City are level. Can they go on to win it now?
Bale's had a quiet game, and he curls a poor effort wide of goal from 25 yards out. He hasn't been able to get into real space on the left but, as the game drags on, he may well find more space in behind as City push forward.
More frustration for the champions as Kolarov can't get on the end of a weighty pass and Walker sees the ball out as the crowd seethes. Which manager will mix up his tactics next?
The away fans are in fine voice for Adebayor, who has worked hard up front on his own this afternoon. Will Villas-Boas introduce Defoe for, or with the Togolese striker today? That decision could well decide the game.
Nastasic goes off and is replaced by Maicon - that will surely mean City are going to three at the back. The hosts are pushing more, but that leaves Adebayor up against Kompany on his own - that should make for a great battle.
Massive chance for City goes begging here! Aguero is clean through after Toure finds him with a long ball but as he looks to control the ball, he somehow manages to fall over and the chance is wasted. Replays show he was offside but there was no flag, so Spurs can consider themselves lucky really.
Kompany rises to meet a corner but heads the ball over - the captain has been strangely subdued today, but he may start to get forward more as the game progresses.
More pressure from City here, particularly on the right wing - Vertonghen will have his work cut out by the looks of it. Tevez is rightly flagged offside as he shapes to cross for Aguero, but it's much more positive from the hosts.
More boos for Adebayor - he was a shock pick over Defoe today, but he's certainly done his job up front. A goal would really annoy the home supporters - what are the chances of another elaborate celebration sending opposition fans into a frenzy on the same ground as his Arsenal knee-slide?
More pace from City here as Zabaleta drives at goal on the right, but Vertonghen locks his attempted cross. The Dutchman hurts himself in the process, but seems good to continue.
We're back underway here - there's been no changes for either side, but if the scoreline remains the same, it'll only be a matter of time before we see a certain Bosnian super-sub - just don't say it to his face.
Can Mancini inspire his championship-winning side to claw their way back into this one? It could be a tough job, as Villas-Boas' men are set up well and look dangerous every time they get down the flanks. City will have to somehow redirect the play and force the game into the centre, but how to do that? I suppose that's why Mancini is a football manager, and we're all watching him.
HALF-TIME! The boos ring out and Spurs go in ahead at the break. City have been very flat today, and Villas-Boas will be delighted with how well his side have contained and frustrated the hosts - but you have to feel the home side will come out stronger in the second half.
45' + 1'
Silva finds Zabaleta in the area but the defender can only scuff a shot from eight yards straight at Friedel. Good chance but he never really opened up his body enough to find a finish. Spurs have been relatively comfortable in this half, and City will need to be more confident in front of goal to get back into this one.
Now Kolarov and Lennon square up - the winger is only small but he points the finger at the City player, and it's all getting rather heated.
Barry trips Lennon again on the wing, and City are simply not dealing with the canny play by Spurs. The home crowd feel the visitors are cheating, but their players are getting too riled up and not focusing on the task at hand. Mancini will have to calm his players down at half time.
Big miss for City here - Silva beats the Spurs back line and races through with Tevez up alongside him. The Spaniard finds the Argentine with a weighted pass, but the striker can only place disappointingly at Friedel from 18 yards, who looks grateful for that one. Anywhere else and the scores would be level.
Spurs almost shoot themselves in the foot here, as first Gallas misjudges a through ball and then Caulker only weakly clears, but the shot is spanked over wildly. Poor all round but Spurs survive.
Silly from Kolarov here as he pulls down Walker close to the Spurs goal when in reality the Englishman didn't really have anywhere to go. City's players are showing a little frustration here.
The cameras cut to Mario Balotelli, who is looking glum in the stands. The word is that he's not injured, so one can only assume he's been left out due to recent tensions between himself and the manager. Will he be at City beyond January?
Tevez is scheming down the right here and hangs up a chip which is so close to the line that Friedel has to watch all the way into his gloves. Safe hands from the American, who hasn't had to make a save yet.
Yet another free kick for Spurs on the wing - and Yaya Toure is limping heavily. He should continue, but that will be a concern for Mancini. Huddlestone's kick comes to nothing.
Close for Kolarov here, who tries a clever left-footed chip from the edge of the area after being fed by Aguero. Friedel is scrambling for it, but realises it's going wide of his left-hand post and the danger passes.
Half-hearted appeals for a penalty from City again as Zabaleta charges into the box only to be blocked off by Huddlestone. The midfielder knew what he was doing and both players end up on the floor, but it would've been surprising to see a spot kick given for that.
Villas-Boas has set his side up well today, and Adebayor has justified his inclusion with fine hold-up play and creating a nuisance of himself, which is winning Spurs valuable free kicks in dangerous positions.
Yellow CardPablo Zabaleta
Adebayor's riling up the home crowd here, and he gets Zabaleta booked by taking a generous tumble over the Argentine's leg. Soft booking, but it had been coming.
Yellow CardKyle Walker
Walker is booked for a clumsy sliding tackle on Clichy - the defender was never going to win the ball, and he's given himself a problem for the rest of the game now.
So close for Huddlestone! Great work from Adebayor as he works the ball from the left wing and gets into the box before back-heeling it to the midfielder, who lets fly with a drive that fizzes just wide of Hart's right-hand post. It could easily have been two there.
Is that a penalty? The referee doesn't think so as Gallas handles the ball as Aguero tries to turn him - replays show the Spurs defender was fortunate to get away with that as his arm was raised. Let-off for Spurs.
The marking was terrible for the goal but a goalkeeper of Hart's quality really should be doing better with chances like that. The ball bounced in front of him but he almost spooned the ball into his own net - disappointing from the England keeper there.
GOAL FOR SPURS!!! City keep giving free kicks away on the flanks, and they're made to pay here. Huddlestone whips in a great free kick from the right, Caulker is free and heads the ball into the ground from six yards out, and Hart can only fumble the ball into the corner of his net. Game on.
Almost a chance here for Spurs! COnfusion in the box once again for City and the ball hits Lennon's back from six yards out and bounces towards goal. Hart goes down to collect and almost pulls out, while Spurs players appeal for a penalty as Adebayor tumbles - nothing given.
Vertonghen is on the chance on the left and Bale spots his run, and the Dutchman almost finds Adebayor's run, but the ball is well cleared.
A couple of corners here for Spurs after some indecision in the air, particularly from Kolarov. No chances result from them though, and neither keeper has been tested yet.
Aguero is dribbling in the Spurs box but Walker gets a foot on the ball to get the ball away from the Argentine. Great tackle from the youngster there.
City have a free kick around 35 yards out but instead of trying to find a team mate, Kolarov swings a disappointing free kick at Friedel which is simple to stop. He can strike them well, but that was speculative at best.
No real chances yet but it's all City, with Spurs struggling to get hold of the game - although laying on the counter with the pace they have on the wings could well suit them today.
Aguero is so nearly through on goal but can't quite reach the through-ball despite breaking the offside trap. Caulker and Gallas will have to be more switched on than that.
Silva swings in a pass behind the Spurs defence but there's too much on it - but a great idea from the Spaniard there, who seems to see passes nobody else can.
Clichy hastily trips Lennon on the wing here - it wasn't malicious, but too many more of those and he'll be in the book - and he won't want a caution while trying to stop the Spurs winger getting past him.
Yaya Toure is so strong on the ball here, outmuscling Bale before Silva tries to find Zabaleta's run in to the box, but it runs through to Friedel. The Ivorian's muscle will be a huge asset today.
City are pressing well up the pitch here, and Lennon is forced into giving a throw-in away. Mancini's men are drifting in and out of space and will be difficult to pick up today at this rate.
Adebayor's been ordered off as the strapping on his socks isn't the same colour as his actual socks. Surely things can only get better for the big striker?
City get us underway here, and Adebayor gets a few early boos. He feeds Lennon, who is only prevented from getting down the line by an excellent tackle from Nastasic. They'll have to watch out for the wide man's pace today.
The teams are out and are observing a minute's silence on Remembrance Sunday. Impeccable from all the fans and everybody in the ground, and we're just about ready for what should be an entertaining clash.
The Premier League champions have got to be favourites for this game, but a front four of Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Clint Dempsey and Adebayor looks very dangerous indeed. The match may hinge on how well Sandro and Tom Huddlestone handle the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure in the middle of the park.
For the home side, David Silva is back and ready for action, while Carlos Tevez and Sergio start up top again. No place in the side for Edin Dzeko - if he's going to score today, he may well start living up to that 'super sub' tag he hates so much.
So the big news is that Jermain Defoe has to settle for a place on the bench despite scoring a hat-trick against Maribor on Thursday in the Europa League. Can Emmanuel Adebayor fire his team to victory against his old club? Now where have we heard that one before...
Spurs: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro; Huddlestone; Lennon, Dempsey, Bale; Adebayor. Subs: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Livermore, Carroll, Sigurdsson and Defoe.
The team news is in... Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Barry; Silva, Kolarov; Tevez, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Sinclair, Garcia, Dzeko, Razak, Maicon.
Good afternoon and welcome to the live commentary of Manchester City - Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium. Roberto Mancini's men can go a point behind league leaders Manchester United with a win here today, but Andre VIllas-Boas' side will be tricky customers after already leaving Manchester with three points this season, courtesy of a stunning 3-2 win at Old Trafford.
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