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West Ham United
29 January 2014
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 36071
E. Capoue 59'
S. Agüero 15'
Y. Touré 51'
E. Džeko 53'
S. Jovetić 78'
V. Kompany 89'
It's been an absolute pleasure folks, that's it from me. Bye for now.
What should have been a closely fought contest ended up being a walk in the park for the visitors. It's a tough loss for Spurs to take, as a controversial penalty decision and Danny Rose's red card opened the floodgates for City. Five goals from five different scorers, and a place at the top of the table for Pellegrini and his men. Spurs miss a chance to draw level with Liverpool in fourth.
90' + 4'
That's it! City run riot!
90' + 3'
Navas for the umpteenth time links with Zabaleta and beats his man to the byeline, clipping a cross in towards Dzeko and Jovetic, but an important touch from Lloris takes it out of their path!
90' + 2'
City now have an 11-1 aggregate lead over City over their two Premier League fixtures this season. Can anyone stop this side from scoring?
90' + 1'
Three minutes of added time for Spurs to bear. Hang on, it will all be over soon.
The corner is not properly cleared, and Dzeko unleashes a half volley from just inside the area. It takes a deflection, and bounces nicely into the path of Kompany, who prods home from in close!
Tons of empty seats around the stadium, and Spurs are just about waiting for the final whistle, on and off the pitch. Not quite over yet though, as KOMPANY ADDS A FIFTH!
NEARLY ANOTHER ONE FOR CITY! Navas leaves Naughton for dead, and his square pass to Jovetic across the six yard area is nearly turned in, but for a last ditch tackle! Kolarov strokes the rebound on goal, but a touch from Lloris turns it around the post!
Eriksen's race is run, and on comes Holtby, another one of Spurs' endless catalog of attacking mids, and another who may be on his way out with rumored interest from former club Schalke.
Kolarov with a low, square pass that finds its way to Dzeko at the far post, but the Bosnian wraps his leg around it all wrong, and hacks it into the stands. Another miss for Edin.
Adebayor has cut a frustrated figure up top for the home side, and leads with his leg to challenge Zabaleta on a bouncing ball. Lucky to avoid any more penalization than a free kick.
Kolarov is coming on to replace Silva, who has been completely influential in the attacking third. Stat coming in from BT Sport: No player has had more EPL assists than Silva since his arrival in England. Incredible player.
Fernandinho, who has been superb throughout, breaks through the midfield ranks and squares to Jovetic on the left. He cuts inside onto his right foot and aims one towards the bottom corner, and a deflection takes it away from Lloris and into that very spot!
JOVETIC HAS SCORED! CITY HAVE FOUR!
Zabaleta with a silly tackle on Adebayor in a harmless area near the touchline, and duly receives a booking from the referee.
Yellow CardPablo Zabaleta
In other title news, Chelsea are still being held to a stalemate against West Ham at home. It's all coming up aces for City midweek!
Man City have held onto the ball for a good many minutes now, and have done an excellent job in killing the Spurs momentum in its tracks. The hosts are chasing shadows around their own half at the moment! Metronomic and demoralizing passing from the Citizens.
Dzeko again, determined to get on the scoresheet again, takes a shot in stride at the top of the box, but a deflection takes the venom out of it, and it rolls through into the arms of Lloris.
Dzeko has another opportunity from an improperly cleared cross, and attacks the ball at the near post, but mis-kicks it completely. On another night, he could have grabbed himself a treble.
Demichelis seems to be the free man in the City lineup against their depleted opposition, and is pushing ahead of Fernandinho, almost into the role that Toure filled before his departure. Pellegrini is shouting at him to get back in position!
Navas seemed to have the step on Naughton down the right, but bizarrely decides to cut back and play it across the top of the box. The chance is wasted as Bentaleb intercepts his pass to Silva.
WHAT A MOVE AND WHAT A MISS! Clichy's excellent early cross is taken magnificently on the chest of Dzeko, who frees himself from two markers and slices a volley towards goal! But he shanks it badly when the target was begging to be hit!
Yellow CardKyle Naughton
Naughton has been yellow carded for hacking down Navas, a clear booking for the sub.
Sometimes Adebayor just can't control himself, as he runs towards the departing Toure and tries to shove him off the pitch in a bid to hurry up his exit.
Nastasic is getting stripped and ready to come on, perhaps Pellegrini's attempt to stem the Spurs momentum. Word is that Toure is the one to depart.
The crowd are fully behind Tottenham, and we have a game on our hands again! Credit to them for pulling one back, and they continue to push forward in numbers inside the opposition half. A dangerous game to play considering their numerical deficit.
The hosts force a corner, and Eriksen's delivery is not cleared, but after a few bounces, Capoue smashes the loose ball home inside the area! Fernandinho, on the line aimed a Suarez-style punch at that one, and is lucky, for had he touched that, he would have surely gotten the Rose treatment of a red and a penalty!
SPURS HAVE ONE BACK!
You have to throw Tottenham a bone of sympathy here, as two massive decisions have gone against them - Dawson's disallowed goal and the Rose red card that effectively ended their hopes. City have been the better side, no doubt about it, but Spurs were showing signs of making a game out of it when it was still 11 vs 11.
Sigurdsson, who never was a factor in this game, has been replaced by Naughton. Damage limitation already it seems from Sherwood.
A splendid overlap from Zabaleta sees him tee up Silva inside the 18. After a few shimmies, the Spaniard smacks a shot onto the post, but the rebound breaks kindly for Dzeko, who plants the ball into the roof of the net!
DZEKO! 3-0 FOR CITY!
Penalty GoalYaya Touré
NO MISTAKE! The Ivorian sends Lloris the other way with the spot kick! Spurs have a long road back now after that double whammy of a red card and a goal.
Red CardDanny Rose
RED CARD FOR DANNY ROSE! Perhaps a harsh given that he won the ball, but he did deny Dzeko a clear goalscoring opportunity. I suppose the interpretation lies on whether it was a foul or a tackle. Meanwhile, Toure steps up to the spot...
Fernandinho shook off a challenge and slipped in Dzeko behind the last defender. He was primed to pull the trigger, but in comes Rose, who appeared to win the ball, but came in through the back of the Bosnian! No question about the penalty, but Rose could be in trouble...
PENALTY TO MANCHESTER CITY!
No update on Aguero, but news has come in that Dembele took an injury to his ankle at the end of the half, and was not fit enough to continue. Spurs will hope that it's precautionary more than anything.
Capoue has only been on the pitch for barely a minute, and he could have already been given his marching orders! He came in completely late on Silva planting his studs into the midfielders' ankle without getting near the ball. He's a lucky duck, that Capoue.
Here we go again! One change to report, as Dembele, who looked to have taken a knock towards the end of the half, has been replaced by little used Capoue.
It looked for a long while like City were ready to repeat their 6-0 thrashing of Spurs at the Etihad earlier this season after a full throttle opening half hour. Aguero dinked the visitors into the lead wonderfully, and it was one in a series of openings fashioned by Pellegrini's men. Spurs were on the ropes, but came back in the latter stages, seeing a goal disallowed, and gaining a boost for the second half due to Aguero's departure with injury. It's going to be a smashing finish, so stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
45' + 4'
That's it for now folks!
45' + 3'
The pressing from City's front line to end the half is admirable, forcing them into a series of rushed passes around the halfway line. Still, Lennon breaks the hesitancy with a skipping run down the left, but he takes it a step too far, and loses the ball just before attempting to play in Adebayor.
45' + 1'
Into the first of three minutes to round off what has been a fascinating half of football. The gravitas of the occasion has not let up for one second.
And indeed, it's the end of the game for the effervescent Argentine, who has another injury concern to deal with. The forgotten fourth forward, Jovetic, is set to replace him.
Aguero is down on the deck grimacing in pain, and the physios have been summoned as soon as the ball got kicked out of play. Running at full speed, a harmless barge from Dawson took him off balance, and he seemed to have tweaked a muscle. Big, big blow for City.
Aguero has also been booked in the confusion following that Demichelis scuffle. The defender's knee is bleeding profusely, and to be honest, Adebayor did catch him with a hard stamp, reminiscent of the one he used to welcome Robin van Persie to the Etihad years ago.
Yellow CardSergio Agüero
Yellow CardMartín Demichelis
Demichelis comes through the back of Adebayor with a full blooded challenge, and Adebayor, in the process of avoiding the slide, leads with his studs into the defenders' knee. Retribution for what was a hard tackle from the Argentine, who is booked for his troubles.
Spurs can feel hard done by, but this is a massively impressive recovery from them in the last spell. More replays suggest that Adebayor got a slight flick on Eriksen's ball before it reached Dawson, and the Togo striker was in an offside position. Still a tough call.
SPURS ARE LEVEL...BUT NO! Eriksen drills in another devilish ball in towards the far post. Dawson leaps above Zabaleta to smash home via the woodwork, but the referee has deemed him to be offside! Zabaleta was holding his hand up for the decision, and he's fortunate that it was chalked off as he looked level with Dawson! A marginal, marginal decision!
Free kick for Spurs just outside the box, and the newly booked Yaya Toure needs to be careful after he gently clipped Rose, and then throws his arms about frantically in complaint! Danger for City...
Eriksen with the resulting free kick, but it's too long for Dawson, who was sprinting in at the far post. He simply ran out of room as the byeline crept up to him.
Yaya Toure becomes the first name in the book, with a high, late challenge on Dembele's ankle. Completely deserved booking, and the Ivorian can have no complaints, although you wouldn't know it judging by his reaction!
Yellow CardYaya Touré
A menacing cross from Eriksen is whizzed over the six yard area, but is not lapped up by anyone and goes out to the other side! That was a real tester from the Dane, it's a pity that no one accepted his invitation.
A pulse over half an hour gone, and City have simply been too hot to handle. The front four have been perfectly in sync. Dzeko hooks a shot towards goal that pings between the hands of a Spurs player like a table tennis rally, but handball is not given! Tough one to call in real time, but the replays laid on a convincing case for a penalty!
Rose makes up for that SNAFU with a forceful challenge on Zabaleta to put the ball out for a throw. Zabaleta's been testy so far but I'm sure he's not even mad about that tackle, it was right out of his own notebook!
Lovely footwork from Dembele, who pirouettes on the ball, evading Fernandinho before leisurely squaring to Rose on the left. About the first good thing to come out of Tottenham's midfield, and Rose wastes the good work with a terrible cross that is mincemeat for Zabaleta.
Zabaleta, not to be outdone by another certain Argentine, sees the ball drop kindly for him at the corner of the box, and tries to bend in a left-footed classic into the top corner. It goes about two feet too high, but good technique from the full back regardless!
It's open season on the Spurs goal, and City are hunting wabbits. Aguero gets another effort in towards Lloris, but his snap shot from the edge of the box just zings over the top of the crossbar!
MAGNIFICENT, SPELLBINDING SAVE!!!!! Lloris has just earned his corn. Clichy overlapped excellently down the left, and pinged in a wonderful cross for Aguero to attack. The Argentine rises well to glance a header to the right side, only for Lloris to spring like a cat to to get a strong hand to it!
OOOOOOOHH Hart is lucky, as the resulting corner drops right inside the six yard box, and is touched straight into his arms!
BETTER FROM SPURS! Some slick link up play around the 18 sees the ball fall to Adebayor, who takes it upon himself to get into the box. He beats two players at will, but his finish is deflected out for a corner!
Sherwood looks completely pissed off on the sidelines, as his side have not come close to troubling City. Their midfield has been trampled so far by the opposition, while the movement of Aguero and Dzeko has kept the defence reeling.
Dzeko blasts over the bar from a similar position to his earlier effort just inside the box on the left hand side. City are carving Spurs apart at will, it almost seems unfair.
Aguero has scored his 26h goal in all competitions this season, and with that strike, has also racked up his 50th goal in the Premier League in only 81 games. What a magnificent player.
Simply splendid goal from City, who carve the hosts apart with a textbook attack! Silva advances through the middle, and with a perfect through pass, picks out the excellent run of Aguero, who nips a neat finish past Lloris!
AGUERO HAS DONE IT!
City controlling it in the early goings, and are the side carrying the most menace early on here. Silva and Navas attempt to orchestrate an attack down the right channel, but Bentaleb is back to help out Rose, and gets a boot in to clear.
DZEKO...WIDE AND WILD! A sumptuous one-two with Aguero sets the Bosnian away on the right, and he shimmies to leave Walker on his backside. He cuts in towards goal, but with options to pick out, he instead goes for glory and only succeeds in blasting into the stands.
Toure aims a ball towards Dzeko, who has the jump on Walker, but then wrestles the full back illegally in his bid to win the second bounce. Walker's a bit fortunate that Andre Mariner took the stern stance on that incident, as it looked a simple out-muscling to me.
Dzeko misses the target with a header from a Navas delivery, and it's clear that the City frontline are up for it tonight! Spurs already have been tested twice at the back, and it is not the start that Sherwood would have wanted!
Aguero with a simply INCREDIBLE run, turning on the afterburners to leave two Spurs players in his dust. Advancing to the right side of the goal, he unleashes a vicious shot that cannons back off the woodwork! Spurs survive!
Zabaleta with some strong defending early on against Eriksen, shepherding the Dane out of play. Tonight's referee Andre Mariner was the man that gave the Argentine his marching orders against Wigan in the FA Cup Final.
Plenty of Arsenal fans will be backing Spurs tonight, hoping that their fierce rivals can do them a solid and prevent City from taking maximum points. Don't you just love when that happens!
Here we go!
The players are in place on the pitch, and the match is ready to kick off. Don't go anywhere folks...
For City, it's simple. Win, and they go top. Arsenal slipped up yesterday, dropping points after a 2-2 draw at Southampton. The Citizens, two points off the Gunners, can take first place outright for the first time all season. Today's visitors have won 17 of their last 19 games, racking up an incredible 64 goals in the process. That's the same amount that Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko have scored so far this season.
Spurs need to keep Everton and Manchester United at arm's length in the race for the Champions League places. One point ahead of the former and three ahead of the latter, the north London club also have to worry about Liverpool, who occupy fourth place and laid down a marker with an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of Everton yesterday. A win will send Spurs level on points with Brendan Rodgers' men.
On the other side of the coin, it's pretty much an expected XI from Manuel Pellegrini, with the only possible variable being Dzeko's starting berth ahead of Negredo. The Bosnian will link up with Aguero up top, with Navas and Silva providing width and roaming respectively from the flanks. A potential weak link is Demichelis in the centre of defence, and Adebayor may well be licking his chops at the prospect of putting one over on his former employers via the Argentine centre back.
Let's take a look at Tottenham's lineup first. Adebayor was always going to start tonight given his red hot goalscoring form, and Sherwood has decided to stick with only the Togo man up front - Soldado will have to make do with the bench. Eriksen, Lennon and Sigurdsson line up behind Adebayor, while the powerhouse battle between Dembele and Toure in the middle will surely be one of the highlights of the game.
MANCHESTER CITY SUBS: Pantilimon, Lescott, Nastasic, Kolarov, Rodwell, Negredo, Jovetic.
MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko.
TOTTENHAM SUBS: Friedel, Naughton, Capoue, Chadli, Holtby, Defoe, Soldado.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Rose, Lennon, Bentaleb, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Eriksen, Adebayor.
Our teams have been confirmed...
Greetings one and all, and welcome to a clash that I'm sure needs no introduction. Spurs vs City at White Hart Lane. It's bound to be an epic, so stick with me, Keeghann Sinanan for all the action.
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