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Played
January 22, 2012 9:30 PM SGT
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ H. Webb‎
Attendance:‬ 47422‎
 
56′ Samir Nasri
Gareth Bale 65′
90+5′ (PG) Mario Balotelli
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester City 3-2 Tottenham

A last-gasp Balotelli penalty sealed victory for the Premier League leaders after the visitors had come from two down in this five-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium

By Greg Stobart at Etihad Stadium

  • Joe Hart
    13
    14
    2.50

    Joe Hart

    The England goalkeeper had little to do but still found himself twice picking the ball out of his net. Perhaps a bit rash to come flying off his line for Defoe's goal.

  • Micah Richards
    32
    4
    3.50

    Micah Richards

    The Academy product was named City's captain for the afternoon and responded with a typically robust display. Always dangerous bombing forward as he burst through challenges and created one excellent chance for Aguero in the first half.

  • Stefan Savic
    8
    35
    2.50

    Stefan Savic

    Dominant against Defoe for much of the game but awful attempted header put Defoe through for Tottenham's first goal.

  • Joleon Lescott
    15
    6
    3.00

    Joleon Lescott

    Showed good anticipation to mop up loose balls and powerful in the air, playing mainly as the spare man in defence. Made a big contribution at the other end in the 59th minute as he bundled City's second goal over the line.

  • Gael Clichy
    10
    11
    2.50

    Gael Clichy

    Struggled early on as he mistimed a challenge on Walker and was then booked for punching the ball out of the Tottenham full-back's hands as he tried to take a throw.

  • Gareth Barry
    18
    7
    3.00

    Gareth Barry

    Neat and tidy display sitting in front of the back four as he started moves with accurate passing and rarely conceded possession.

  • James Milner
    23
    3
    3.50

    James Milner

    An energetic performance in central midfield, setting the tone with some crunching tackles, not least a vital last-ditch challenge on Bale.

  • David Silva
    30
    2
    3.50

    David Silva

    The Spaniard was anonymous for much of the game by his own high standards but was always looking to unlock the Tottenham defence. He did so in the 56th minute with a brilliant pass to set up Nasri for City's opener.

  • Samir Nasri
    27
    5
    3.00

    Samir Nasri

    Responded to stick from the away fans with a superb finish to smash home the opener in the 56th minute. That aside, prompted and probed but didn't have much influence on the game.

  • Sergio Agüero
    30
    5
    3.50

    Sergio Agüero

    His movement and trickery continually worried the Spurs backline as he prowled in the hope of an opportunity to score. Tested Friedel in the first half with a stinging effort.

  • Edin Dzeko
    15
    23
    2.50

    Edin Dzeko Flop of the Match

    The Bosnian came into the game with happy memories of his four goals the last time City played Spurs, but he found life far more difficult this time as he came up against King. Lost the ball too easily, lacked pace and never offered much of a goal threat in the penalty box.

Substitutions

  • Mario Balotelli
    29
    11
    3.00

    Mario Balotelli

    Replaced Dzeko in the 65th minute and scored the winner from the spot deep into stoppage time after winning the penalty himself. Lucky to still be on the pitch at that stage after stamp on Parker.

  • Brad Friedel
    10
    4
    3.00

    Brad Friedel

    The veteran American had no chance with any of the City goals and had to be at his sharpest to produce a strong first-half save from Aguero's powerful strike. Good distribution on the whole.

  • Kyle Walker
    9
    7
    3.00

    Kyle Walker

    A strong, composed defensive display from the young right-back, but he will be disappointed not to have tracked Nasri better for City's opener. Always a threat when he bombed forward at pace and ran at Clichy.

  • Younes Kaboul
    7
    7
    3.00

    Younes Kaboul

    Mad moment as he stepped up before City's opener, giving Nasri a huge gap to run into. Sometimes looked a little clumsy against Aguero but was strong in the air and made some important interceptions.

  • Ledley King
    7
    13
    2.50

    Ledley King

    The Tottenham captain returned from injury and produced a composed display - until a clumsy challenge on Balotelli to concede the penalty for the winner.

  • Benoit Assou-Ekotto
    5
    9
    2.50

    Benoit Assou-Ekotto

    Good positionally but often far too casual both on the ball and in his attempts to win the ball.

  • Aaron Lennon
    9
    4
    3.00

    Aaron Lennon

    The winger's pace was always a threat, especially on the counterattack when he looked to run at Clichy. Provided the assist for Bale's goal when he rolled a simple square pass to the Welshman.

  • Scott Parker
    11
    4
    3.00

    Scott Parker

    Angered the City supporters with a series of strong challenges for which he was eventually booked. Energy and experience were important for the visitors, especially in the latter stages.

  • Luka Modric
    14
    6
    3.00

    Luka Modric

    The classy Croatian was never afraid to demand the ball and got joy from spinning passes out to the wide areas. Never particularly opened up the City defence but was the key player when Spurs had spells of possession.

  • Gareth Bale
    31
    10
    3.50

    Gareth Bale Top of the Match

    The Welshman seemed a little frustrated until he popped up in the 65th minute with a stunning equaliser, curled into the top corner from 25 yards. Threatening thereafter as he played with more confidence and ran at the City defence. Created a brilliant late chance for Defoe.

  • Rafael van der Vaart
    6
    16
    2.50

    Rafael van der Vaart

    The Dutchman played an important tactical role in the first half as he dropped into midfield. Didn't find much space to pick passes and was limited to potshots at goal before being replaced by Livermore in the 67th minute.

  • Jermain Defoe
    11
    13
    2.50

    Jermain Defoe

    Almost anonymous in general play as he continually lost challenges but popped up with the goal that put Spurs back in the game. Good composure to take the ball past Hart and slot home. Will have nightmares about miss from a yard out in the closing stages.

Substitutions

  • Jake Livermore
    5
    5
    3.00

    Jake Livermore

    Came on in the 67th minute to replace Van der Vaart. Worked hard but lacked quality on the ball.

  • Steven Pienaar
    3
    10
    0.00

    Steven Pienaar

    Replaced Lennon in the 88th minute.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0