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April 21, 2013
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 36121
C. Dempsey 75'
J. Defoe 79'
G. Bale 82'
S. Nasri 5'
That's it from me, but make sure you stick with Goal.com for Chelsea's trip to Anfield where they face Liverpool later this afternoon.
Full-time! After going 1-0 down early in the game, three goals in under ten minutes have seen Tottenham complete an entertaining and important comeback. Dempsey pulled them level with 15 minutes remaining, thanks to a fantastic cross from Bale, before two more quickfire goals from Defoe and Bale himself completed the turnaround. The result means Spurs are still in with a good chance of finishing in the top four, while it leaves Manchester United needing a win against Aston Villa on Monday to secure the Premier League title.
90' + 3'
The full-time whistle goes and Tottenham claim all three points!
90' + 1'
Three added minutes at White Hart Lane.
Kolarov lifts it up and over the wall but can't get it back down and under the bar.
Tevez is chopped down from both sides by Dembele and Dawson and City have a free-kick in a good area ...
Spurs are knocking the ball around in midfield now as they look to close out the game.
The comeback has been completed as Bale, who hasn't been on top form this afternoon, bags one himself. The attacker tries to get in behind again on the right flank but is forced off the ball.
Assist Tom Huddlestone
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL! What a turnaround! Bale delicately chips the ball over Hart to make it 3-1! The Welshman was played through by Huddlestone and kept his head to finish calmly there.
Well, well, well. Spurs have turned things around with ten minutes left - if it stays like this then Manchester United will secure the league title if they beat Aston Villa tomorrow.
Assist Lewis Holtby
Goal Jermain Defoe
GOAL! Super-sub Defoe fires past Hart with a fantastic right-footed effort after cutting in from the left.
Yellow Card Joe Hart
Yellow Card Aleksandar Kolarov
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Clint Dempsey
GOAL! Dempsey makes it 1-1 by tapping in at the back post after a brilliant low cross from Bale, the Welshman using the outside of his boot to find his teammate with a pin-point pass form the right flank.
Adebayor, who has had very little impact this afternoon, is replaced by Jermain Defoe. Can he make the difference?
Dempsey has a go from range but it's a weak shot and Hart has no problem claiming the ball.
Lewis Holtby finds Assou-Ekotto on the left wing with a fine ball, the full-back then crosses low but Zabaleta puts it behind. Meanwhile Dempsey is brought down in the box by Nastasic but nothing is given, and on second look it appears the midfielder went down easily.
Yellow Card Tom Huddlestone
Dembele strolls through the City midfield before finding Bale on the left-hand-side of the penalty area, the Welshman tries to cut the ball back to a teammate but can only find the feet of an opponent.
Kolarov finds Tevez in a bit of space on the edge of the Spurs box but the Argentine fires over the bar.
Bale is flagged for offside after being played in behind the City defence - the visitors took a chance there and on second look it seems as if the Welshman may have actually been onside.
Toure fires a first-timed strike at goal after a poor clearance from Walker, but Lloris is equal to it.
Double substitution coming up from Villas-Boas as Spurs look to change the outcome of this tie.
Nasri skips away from a couple of challenges with some lovely footwork on the right wing, but is eventually crowded out and loses the ball.
Bale gets it all wrong and sends the ball high and wide of the goal.
Bale plays Parker in with a neat ball, the midfielder gets in front of Clichy and wins a free-kick in a dangerous area. Bale will the fancy this ...
Hart sends a goal-kick straight out into touch - this second period hasn't quite had the same tempo as the first.
Nasri tries to find Tevez who makes a good run in behind the Spurs defence, but the Frenchman's pass is wayward and the attack comes to an end.
Spurs are just lacking a bit of penetration in this second half. They get into a good position on the right but Walker tries an ambitious cross-field ball, which does find Sigurdsson but the midfielder is unable to bring it down successfully.
Nasri almost finds Dzeko with a neat lofted ball over the top, but he puts just too much on it.
Yellow Card Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Assou-Ekotto is booked for a rash challenge on Zabaleta - the Spurs defender leads with both feet and jumps into it, but a yellow card is probably sufficient.
There's been one change at half-time, City midfielder Milner was feeling a tight hamstring and has been replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov.
City get us back underway.
Greg Stobart's half-time thoughts from White Hart Lane: "A shake of the head from Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas as he heads down the tunnel with his side losing at the break after Samir Nasri’s fifth minute opener for Manchester City. The visitors deserve their lead and could well have doubled the advantage, with Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez all coming close. Spurs have lacked attacking movement all over the pitch while Gareth Bale has been a peripheral figure and looks far from fully fit. It will be interesting to see if Villas-Boas makes any changes during the interval."
Half-time! Tottenham made a good start to the match but find themselves a goal down at the break - Nasri tucking the ball away after good work from Tevez and Milner. Since then Spurs reacted well, but have only really forced Hart into one decent save, while City have looked dangerous on the break with Tevez causing havoc. Villas-Boas will be hoping for a better second half, and with the north Londoners on the back of a prolonged break while their opponents played in midweek, that could well be the case.
45' + 2'
Walker crosses from the right but Adebayor can't quite get the right contact on the ball - it falls to Sigurdsson, though, but his attempt is blocked by Zabaleta.
There will be two minutes of added time at White Hart Lane.
Dempsey gets free of his marker in the box but heads way over the bar following Sigurdsson's corner.
Tevez cuts in from the left and shoots at goal but it's deflected behind for a corner - Dawson nods it behind for another from which Lloris makes a fine save to deny the Argentine from close range.
Tevez plays Dzeko in behind the Spurs defence but Lloris gets down quickly to stop the striker's effort - which in truth was weak.
Bale attempts to whip one in from the other side, but it hits the wall. Spurs come forward again as Dempsey tries to get past Clichy on the right, but the defender intervenes just at the last moment.
Walker delivers a free-kick into the City penalty area but it's headed away, the ball comes back into the box but again the visitors get it away.
City are defending very solidly at the moment as Spurs move flank to flank but are unable to find an opening. Eventually the visitors force a long ball and win it back.
Milner does well to win a corner off Benoit Assou-Ekotto after a poor pass from Nasri looked to be rolling out for a goal-kick - City go short again but completely waste it once more.
Nasri goes close to doubling his tally, and City's lead, after a neat one-two with Tevez, however he just pokes his effort wide of the post as Lloris is quick to close him down.
Dzeko cuts in from the left and fires a strike at goal, after good link-up play with Tevez, but the shot is deflected over the bar.
Zabaleta is rushed in possession and fires a wayward long ball straight to Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal. The hosts have done well since conceding.
SAVE! Dempsey finds Walker in an advanced position with a brilliant through ball but the defender takes too long to pull the trigger as Hart rushes out and blocks the shot.
Yellow Card Michael Dawson
Milner hits in straight into the wall and Spurs force the visitors back before regaining possession.
Michael Dawson catches Dzeko with a very clumsy sliding tackle from behind - City have a free-kick in a good position...
Scott Parker, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moussa Dembele exchange passes in midfield as Spurs keep hold of the ball for a decent spell. No more chances as of yet, though.
City try and work a short free-kick on the right wing but end up getting crowded out in the corner. You can't help feel that, with Dzeko on the pitch, they may have been better off putting the ball in the box.
Yellow Card Yaya Touré
Spurs put the ball out of play as Jan Vertonghen is hurt after a clash with Tevez. I think he'll be okay to continue, though.
Our man Greg Stobart's reaction to that goal from White Hart Lane: "The Tottenham supporters were in good voice here early on but the home fans have been flattened by that Samir Nasri opener. It was a superbly worked goal from the visitors and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was quick off his touchline to praise Carlos Tevez for his role in the build-up to the opener."
Nasri catches Walker with a nasty looking challenge as his studs go right over the ball. He's lucky to escape punishment for that as Lee Mason waves away the protests.
Villas-Boas looks a bit shaken on the touchline as Spurs go behind despite a bright start. They left themselves very open at the back there, though.
Assist James Milner
Goal Samir Nasri
GOAL!! City take an early lead through ex-Arsenal man Samir Nasri.Carlos Tevez does ever so well to make yards on the right-hand-side before finding James Milner in a good position. The midfielder then crosses for the Frenchman who directs it past Kyle Walker on the line.
Clint Demsey beats Gael Clichy on the right flank before getting a cross into the danger zone, but Hart is there again to stop it.
That man Bale tries a swerving effort from range but Joe Hart keeps hold of the ball at the second attempt.
Spurs have made a steady start to the match as they keep the ball well. Vincent Kompany makes a good challenge to halt the hosts at the final hurdle.
And we're off.
The players are making their way out on to the pitch in north London, with the home crowd making plenty of noise. Let's hope the match lives up to its billing.
Our man at the ground this afternoon is Greg Stobart, he reports: "The players have completed their warm-ups here at White Hart Lane on a gorgeous spring afternoon in north London, the sun beaming down on a perfect-looking pitch. The major pre-match debate in the press box has focussed on just how fit Gareth Bale will be as he returns from an ankle injury. The Welshman holds the key to Tottenham’s top four hopes - and their chances of victory today against a Manchester City side without David Silva and Sergio Aguero, although the Argentine is able to take a place on the bench."
With Sergio Aguero on the bench for Manchester City, after suffering from a hamstring injury, Edin Dzeko starts up front. The Bosnian netted a late winner in the reverse fixture between these two sides, as City came from a goal down to win the game at the Etihad.
And Bale's return could well be influential for Tottenham this afternoon - Spurs have failed to win a game this calendar year that the Welshman has not scored in. Whether he is actually fully fit remains to be seen, but will the gamble pay off? We'll have to wait and see.
So Andre Villas-Boas warmly welcomes Gareth Bale back into the Tottenham squad, with the attacker recovering from an ankle injury just in time for this afternoon's tie. However the game comes too soon for Aaron Lennon and Younes Kaboul who are not included in the squad. As for Manchester City, Sergio Aguero is fit enough for the bench but David Silva misses out. Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Matija Nastasic all return in defence.
Manchester City starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Barry; Milner, Tevez, Nasri; Dzeko Subs: Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Kolarov, Lescott, Garcia, Sinclair, Aguero
Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Dembele, Parker; Dempsey, Bale, Sigurdsson; Adebayor Subs: Friedel, Caulker, Naughton, Holtby, Huddlestone, Livermore, Defoe
Before we talk more about today's clash itself, let's have some team news...
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play text commentary of Tottenham's Premier League clash with Manchester City. Roberto Mancini's men travel to White Hart Lane knowing if they lose this afternoon their rivals Manchester United can secure the title with a win against Aston Villa on Monday, and with Spurs still chasing a top-four spot we should be in for a good game.
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