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English Premier League (EPL)
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
January 22, 2012
• 8:30 AM
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 47422
S. Nasri 56'
J. Lescott 59'
M. Balotelli 90'+
J. Defoe 60'
G. Bale 65'
FULL TIME! Mario Balotelli hits the headlines again for Manchester City as he claims the winner in an action packed second half to extend their lead from Tottenham at the top of the Premier League.
90' + 5'
Penalty Goal Mario Balotelli
GOAL! A penalty to Manchester City as Balotelli goes down in the box under a challenge from King, after a long ball from the back by Clichy that allows the Italian to step up and claim all three points for the home side.
90' + 1'
Spurs should have secured all three points as another mistake from Savic on the halfway line sees Bale race towards goal, with the Welshman crossing from the left towards the back post, were Defoe dives in, in search of the winner, but the ball evades the striker just two yards out and goes out for a goal kick
The visitors hold on to the ball for a long period of time before Modric seaches out Assou-Ekotto, but the full back is deemed as being offside.
Silva beats two Spurs defenders just outside the box before passing the ball into the path of Balotelli, but the Italian's shot is blocked by the home defence and Friedel catches the rebound.
Balotelli lucky to stay on the park as he appeared to stamp on Scott Parker after a clash with the Spurs midfielder, but Howard Webb appeared not to see the incident.
The home fans demand a corner as Nasri's mishit cross becomes a shot which Friedel has to deal with near his own line, but the assistant referee deems that the ball was still in play.
Yellow Card Mario Balotelli
Lescott comes to the rescue for Manchester City as he maanges to stop Defoe from getting in on Hart's goal and getting a shot off.
Mario Balotelli is raging with the referee as he fails to get a corner after his header from a free kick hits off of Walker and out of play, but Howard Webb decides to award a goal kick.
Manchester City are lucky not to be behind as Bale beats Richards on the left wing and puts in a superb cross for Lennon at the back post, but Clichy manages to head the ball over the bar in order to save his side.
Spurs midfielder Modric tries his luck from distance as he receives the ball just outside the box, but unfortunately for the Croatian, his shot ends up with the fans behind Hart's goal as it sails over the bar.
Assou-Ekotto finds space on the left wing and uses it to take the ball forward before hitting a cross into the box which Savic does well to clear for a corner to the visitors.
Rafael van der Vaart
The home side attempt to get back into the lead as Silva gets the ball on the left after Spurs fail to properly clear a Nasri corner, but they manage to get the ball out for another corner kick.
Assist Aaron Lennon
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL! Spurs get back on level terms as Lennon cuts inside from the left wing and finds Bale on the edge of the area and he curls the ball beyond the outstretched arms of Hart and into the net, to the delight of the visiting fans behind the goal.
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL! Spurs get a goal back as Savic fails to deal with a long ball, giving Defoe a one-on-one attempt against Hart and the striker makes no mistake as he rounds the keeper and places the ball into the back of the net.
Assist Edin Dzeko
Goal Joleon Lescott
GOAL! The corner from the left by Nasri is headed on by Dzeko to Joleon Lescott, who runs into the goal, with the ball under his feet to double City's lead.
Silva nearly sets up another goal for Manchester City as he gets the ball on the left hand side of the penalty area, but his cross is cleared by Kaboul for a corner.
Greg Stobart: "The Etihad is bouncing to Samir Nasri’s name after that cracking finish to put the Premier League leaders ahead. The goal rewarded a far higher tempo start to the second-half from the hosts but Spurs coach Kevin Bond was furious with the way the former Arsenal man was allowed to run through on goal."
Assist David Silva
Goal Samir Nasri
GOAL! Silva gets the ball on the halfway line and runs towards goal before playing a ball through the middle of the Tottenham defence, which allows Nasri to get onto the ball and smash it beyond Friedel to open the scoring.
Modric gets the ball on the left wing after a pass from van der Vaart, he then cuts the ball back to Bale, who is free inside the box, but before he can get a strike on goal he slips and allows Manchester City to clear.
Yellow Card Scott Parker
Bale races towards goal after a mistake in the midfield area for the home side, but before he can get a sight at Hart's goal, James Milner bursts a gut in order to catch up with the Welshman and get the tackle in to clear.
Tottenham press forward with Lennon passing the ball towards van der Vaart, who from over 25 yards out decides to try his luck and take a shot on goal rather than passing to Defoe in the box, but Joe Hart in the home goal is more than up to the challenge, saving comfortably.
A superb passing move from Manchester City, were they played over ten passes, before the ball landed at the feet of Silva and he managed to bulldoze past at least three defenders before the ball broke to Dzeko, who attempted a cross from the left hand side of the penalty area, which Friedel beat away from danger.
Manchester City get the second half underway.
HALF TIME! It's goalless at the Etihad Stadium with neither side managing to get a clear strike on goal to open the scoring.
Gareth Barry attempts to play a through ball onto Aguero but before the Argentinian can get to the ball, Kaboul gets in his way and clears the ball.
Aguero plays some neat touches in the midfield area, going forward towards the box, before playing the ball towards Dzeko and looking for a return, but the Bosnian striker fails to play the ball and eventually takes a shot that goes well over.
Manchester City captain Richards decides to try his luck by taking a run down the right wing, but before he can get anywhere near the ball Assou-Ekotto gets in his way and manages to clear the ball from danger.
Spurs attempt a free kick on the edge of the area, which van der Vaart plays short to Luka Modric, who stops the ball for Kaboul to smash towards goal, but unfotunately for the centre half his effort goes sailing into the stand behind the goal.
Walker attempts a cross from the right which Richards does well to get up above Aaron Lennon, but he can only clear into the path of Rafael van der Vaart, but his two attempts are block by the Manchester City defence and they eventually manage to clear the danger.
Micah Richards wins two tackles on the right wing to win the ball for Manchester City, he then squares the ball to Aguero, who in turn rifles the ball towards goal, but Friedel manages to divert the ball away with his legs for a corner.
Greg Stobart: "As is so often the case with lunchtime kick-offs, the atmosphere seems rather flat given the importance of the occasion. Most of the noise is coming from the boisterous 3,000 Tottenham supporters in the away end, but they will be concerned but how much Spurs are missing Emmanuel Adebayor up front, with Jermain Defoe losing just about every aerial challenge."
Friedel comes to the rescue for Tottenham, as he manages to smother the ball near the edge of his box as Edin Dzeko looks to round the keeper to open the scoring after nearly receiving the ball from Samri Nasri.
Aguero helps start a superb move for Manchester City as he gets on the end of a quick free kick and with Younes Kaboul marking the forward, he finds Silva, but his shot on goal goes just wide.
Spurs are starting to get into the game, but without the focal point of Adebayor up front they seem to be unable to find the final ball.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto attempts to go down the left hand side and tries a cross which Stefan Savic manages to get his feet to in order to clear the ball from danger and out for a corner.
Goal.com's Greg Stobart at the Etihad Stadium: "It’s been an intriguing start here at the Etihad, with both sides manoeuvring the ball well without creating any real chances. The Spurs bench seem be encouraging their players to get the ball out wide so Aaron Lennon can run at Gael Clichy, who has already been booked. The first goal is going to be absolutely crucial here."
Tottenham create their first real chance of the game as Gareth Bale makes his way down the left wing before whipping a cross into the danger area of the Manchester City box, but Jermain Defoe can't get to the ball in order to open the scoring.
The home side get their first corner of the game as Aguero gets the ball in space, just outside the Spurs box and with no visiting defenders around him, he attempts a shot on goal that deflects off of King for a corner.
Yellow Card Gael Clichy
Former Arsenal left back Gael Clichy receives a stupid yellow card after putting the ball out for a throw in to Spurs he doesn't let them take a quick throw by batting the ball down with his hands, giving referee Howard Webb no option but to book the defender.
Tottenham have a good move in the middle of the park, with several players having a touch, before the ball is spread wide to Kyle Walker, but the Spurs full back's final ball is poor and the hosts can clear the ball easily.
David Silva tries to loft a ball over the top, looking for the onrushing Sergio Aguero, but before the Manchester City forward can get to the ball Brad Friedel steps out and takes a hold of the ball to stop the danger.
Manchestser City have started off the brightest as they look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League, but they have yet to find a way past the Tottenham defence, which today includes Ledley King.
Tottenham get the game underway.
Tottenham subs are: Cudicini (GK) Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Dawson, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pienaar.
The Tottenham starting line-up is: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Defoe.
Manchester City subs are: Pantilimon (GK) Zabaleta, Kolarov, Onuoha, De Jong, Johnson, Balotelli.
The Manchester City starting line-up is as follows: Hart; Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy; Milner, Barry, Nasri; Aguero, Dzeko, Silva.
The home side are definitely without both Kolo and Yaya Toure who are at the African Cup of Nations, while Vincent Kompany is also unavailable due to suspension, while Tottenham cannot play striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who is on-loan from Manchester City.
Tottenham will be looking to put the last meeting between the two sides behind them, when at White Hart Lane Edin Dzeko scored four and Sergio Aguero was also on target as Manchester City won 5-1.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com’s live commentary of Manchester City and Tottenham in the Premier League, my name is Matthew Harold and I will be guiding you through the next 90 minutes.
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