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By Caroline Cheese
2231: And on that bombshell (sorry, I've always wanted to write that and it seems appropriate tonight), I say goodbye. You've all been ace as usual. I'd just like to apologise to Simon in Stoke for the lack of Fulham-Stoke updates, but at least the result might have cheered you up a bit. Bye!
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp: "It's fantastic. It's been a terrific season for us, we've played some great football along the way and we deserve it. It was a good night, we played some good stuff and I could see the goal coming. Crouchy was fantastic, led the line, unbelievable. It was a good performance."
2228: Manchester City have told BBC 5 live that Roberto Mancini will not be sacked.
Mancini on whether he'll be at Man City next season: "Yeah yeah. We plan for next season. We work in pre-season and next year we play better than now. We'll have a better position than this season."
Man City boss Roberto Mancini on BBC 5 live: "It's very disappointing but that's football. We tried to win. We had chances in the first half and the second half. When we pushed more in second half, Tottenham had more space to counter-attack. I'm happy for this season because we get Ch Europa League. Next year we try to go Champions League. We wanted to get fourth because we had chances, but we know football is like that. It's important you always improve. I wanted to get fourth for the club and for the fans because I think we deserve it. Now I think we must be happy because our season was good."
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe on catching Arsenal: "We've got one more game. There's a little incentive. Hopefully we can do it."
Dawson on his England chances: "I'll never give up. I've never been in [Capello's] squad. It would be nice to make it the first time for the World Cup. I'll keep my fingers crossed."
Tottenham defender Michael Dawson: "Tonight was fantastic. We came here and we expressed ourselves. There was no point coming and playing with fear. We got the ball down and we played. We missed out on the FA Cup final and tonight certainly makes up for it."
2212: Hahaha. Harry Redknapp is talking to the TV cameras and a group of players led by David Bentley creep up and empty a massive bucket of water over him. He's drenched. Completely drenched. Not sure that mic's going to work either.
David Pleat on BBC 5 live: "I just thought Manchester City were stiff in their shape. There was no interlinking. Spurs fully deserved it. Fulop made a couple of saves, it could have been 2-0. They've deserved it tonight and probably over the season."
Lawro on BBC 5 live: "If you look at English defenders, Ledley King is the form man - apart from Michael Dawson maybe. I think he'll go to the World Cup - especially now he's proved he can play twice in five days."
From Isaac, Manchester, via text: "You got to have some sympathy for Man City. Match after match, year after year, their hopes and raised and dashed. It's like waiting for the Messiah and constantly getting Brian."
2205: The Spurs fans at Eastlands aren't going anywhere as they celebrate a magnificent win. It's got to be agony for those City fans who are still in the ground. Not sure why they're still in the ground. Are City's players planning an end-of-season lap of honour? Surely not...
2202: To finish third, Spurs need to win at Burnley on Sunday, and hope Arsenal lose at home to Fulham, so yes, you'd certainly make the Gunners favourites... but it's been a funny old season.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Harry Redknapp departs with a simple thumbs-up to the Spurs directors after clinching a money-spinning place in the Champions League - great celebrations from fans and players. Redknapp has transformed this club since his arrival at White Hart Lane and now they will be on European club football's biggest stage. Manchester City fans dignified in defeat. Applause from the Eastlands power-brokers as they look on grim-faced - but how long will the applause last for Roberto Mancini?"
2158: Craig Bellamy wears a huge grin as he shakes hands with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp. Interesting... And it will be interesting to see who's still at Eastlands next season. Bellamy? Tevez? Mancini?
2157: Tottenham's players begin some wild celebrations. They know they will play in the Champions League next season for the first time in their history... And they could yet pip Arsenal for third and avoid the annoyance of a qualifier.
2156: FULL-TIME Man City 0-1 Tottenham
2155: Spurs threatening a second. Roman Pavlyuchenko is so unlucky. He runs onto a ball on the edge of the area, hits it first time with his right foot and sees Marton Fulop tip it around the post.
2153: FULL-TIME Fulham 0-1 Stoke
2152: Roberto Mancini comes to the touchline to bark some orders. His side just didn't take enough risks tonight.
2149: As Man City fans head for the exits with three minutes remaining, Wilson Palacios comes on for Luka Modric.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Finally and deservedly. A goal for Spurs and Peter Crouch makes up for those earlier misses. Irrespective of the final outcome, Spurs have looked a much more accomplished side than Manchester City tonight. And what about that "defending" from Craig Bellamy as he made a shocking attempt to stop Younes Kaboul getting the cross in? Amateur hour."
2146: This could wrap it up. Gareth Bale breaks down the left and Roman Pavlyuchenko - on for Jermain Defoe a few minutes ago - is waiting in the middle, but Nigel de Jong cuts out the cross. Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini has brought on Roque Santa Cruz for Craig Bellamy - which is a bit odd, if you ask me.
Tottenham goal: Eight minutes remaining... Younes Kaboul goes past Craig Bellamy on the right and his cross clips off Wayne Bridge, catching Marton Fulop unawares. The keeper can only palm the ball at Peter Crouch, who manages to react in time to head back past Fulop. What an important goal that could be...
2144: GOALFLASH Man City 0-1 Tottenham (Crouch)
Stoke goal: Haha. There goes our chance of a goalless evening. Boo to you, Stoke. Ricardo Fuller beats Paul Konchesky with a neat bit of skill on the right and his cross comes all the way to Matthew Etherington at the far post, who hammers a left-foot strike high into the net.
2141: GOALFLASH Fulham 0-1 Stoke (Etherington)
From acmilandrew on Twitter:
"Almost full time in the Coppa Italia final and Totti has just been sent off for kicking Balotelli. Extremely violent conduct! Inter still lead Roma 1-0."
2139: Peter Crouch rises to head home Gareth Bale's cross... surely... no, he's gone too close to Marton Fulop. What a chance to seal Champions League football for Spurs...
2135: And it's finished 6-6. Looks like the SPL stole all the goals tonight then. Still 0-0 at Eastlands and at Craven Cottage. I don't think I've text-commentated on an evening of goalless-ness. It's historic, folks, even if it's a bit on the dull side.
2134: I'm not covering the SPL tonight but how about this for a goalflash: Motherwell 6 (Lukas Jutkiewicz 90) Hibernian 6. Hibs were 6-2 up and Motherwell missed a penalty.
2132: Agony for Spurs fans. Benoit Assou-Ekotto fires in a super ball from the left and first Jermain Defoe stretches and misses, and then Peter Crouch does exactly the same. A change apiece as David Bentley replaces Aaron Lennon, and Shaun Wright-Phillips gets a huge roar from the home fans as he comes on for Adam Johnson.
2130: Space starting to open up at Eastlands... Heurelho Gomes reacts a little slowly to a passback, and finds Craig Bellamy bearing down on him, but he gets to the edge of his area just in time.
2128: Benoit Assou-Ekotto sees yellow for what looked like an unavoidable handball. At Fulham, Zoltan Gera plays a brilliant reverse pass for Clint Dempsey, whose volley is saved at point blank range by Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
From John from Ireland, via text: "Trying to hold myself together and tell myself it's not that significant... but this is the biggest game Spurs have played in for a long time! Come on you lillywhites."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Both teams still going for it, but Gareth Barry's injury is a real blow for Manchester City. He looked in a lot of pain with an ankle injury, and Spurs now find the ex-Arsenal contingent ganging up on them as Patrick Vieira joins Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor. Manchester City fans seem very keen on the introduction of Shaun Wright-Phillips."
2122: Emmanuel Adebayor rises well to meet a corner but can't get the header on target. Half an hour remaining and it's still 0-0, which will probably suit Spurs.
2119: Tackles fly in just outside the Man City box as the ball pings around, and tempers almost flare... Tom Huddlestone isn't happy with Nigel de Jong's wild challenge and flicks a leg out at the Dutchman. The Spurs man's reaction earns him a yellow. He's lucky he didn't make proper contact there.
2117: Great ball from Gareth Bale for Jermain Defoe, who flicks the shot with the outside of his right foot. Marton Fulop makes an excellent save to tip it around the post. Defoe's been very quiet tonight - but that was so, so close. Patrick Vieira is on now to take Man City up to 11 players again.
2115: Trouble for Gareth Barry here... and he won't be able to carry on. The England midfielder is limping badly in full view of England coach Fabio Capello. Patrick Vieira will be on shortly.
2113: Aaron Lennon cuts in from the right. He goes for the shot from 25 yards with his left foot - when the ball to an unmarked Gareth Bale on the left would have been the better option.
2111: Adam Johnson's inswinging cross is met by Gareth Barry's volley at the back post but there's no Man City player in front of goal and Michael Dawson hacks it clear.
2109: Jermain Defoe sweeps a pass from right to left to Gareth Bale, who decides to take on two Man City players - but Nigel de Jong is one of them, and he produces a magnificent block tackle, winning the ball cleanly.
2108: And now another chance for Stoke. Much better this one. From Rory Delap's throw, Ricardo Fuller nods inches wide.
2107: We're back up and running at Eastlands. No changes from either manager yet. At Fulham, Ricardo Fuller slices Stoke's best chance so far wide.
2106: Roberto Mancini takes his pitchside seat early and the camera zooms right in on the Italian's face... He looks like he's aged about 20 years during that half. As the players come out, Mancini folds his arms, leans forward and gently rocks back and forth.
2103: Erik Nevland comes on to replace Damien Duff for Fulham as they get back under way at Craven Cottage. Reports of a possible calf injury for Duff, with a week to go until the Europa League final.
David Pleat, speaking from his sofa on BBC 5 live: "Tottenham are in a good position, they'll be happy at 0-0. Man City need to play Tevez higher up I think. He's coming back and taking the space where Barry and De Jong want to provide from. Adebayor needs support further forward. Neither side looks comfortable from set-pieces."
From jamesharding85 on Twitter:
"Watching Spurs-Man City. Very tight at the moment, defences remain solid. Can definitely see goals once legs get tired though."
2055: At the Stadio Olimpico, Inter Milan lead Roma 1-0 in the Coppa Italia final thanks to Diego Milito's goal, meaning Jose Mourinho's men remain on track for a treble this season.
From Steve, Kazakhstan, via text: "Can't believe I've set the alarm to watch Tottenham and it's not on TV. Attention to detail next time... Come on you Spurs ;)"
Martin the Scotsman, via text: "Finding it very hard to concentrate on work here in Santo Domingo. Come on City!"
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "No goals but a really entertaining first half. Adam Johnson has been a big threat for Manchester City and must have impressed Fabio Capello. Spurs will want to get Aaron Lennon into the game more - he will fancy his chances in a straight battle with Wayne Bridge. Everything still up for grabs."
2050: HALF-TIME Man City 0-0 Tottenham
2049: Adam Johnson's cross-shot hammers into Benoit Assou-Ekotto's middle area, and leaves the left-back hobbling about, clutching his, er, groin. Manchester City pick up the rebound and work it around to Kolo Toure on the left, but his attempted cut-back for Carlos Tevez hits a defender.
2047: HALF-TIME Fulham 0-0 Stoke
2045: Carlos Tevez picks up the ball on the edge of the box, but Ledley King does really well to force him out wide and the Argentine can only lash a shot into the side netting. Peter Crouch is having treatment. Not sure what the problem is.
2044: Kolo Toure heads wide with a free header and then straight at Heurelho Gomes. Another two chances go begging... Hard to believe it's still 0-0 with only a few minutes until half-time.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Chances at both ends and Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes has had to react well twice. Spurs will be disappointed they have yet to really test the nerve of Manchester City's loan keeper Marton Fulop, who looked uncertain on his debut against Aston Villa at the weekend. Those two chances for Man City have at least managed to silence some of the anxious voices that were making themselves heard around Eastlands."
2040: I thought it was in. Peter Crouch nods down Aaron Lennon's cross for Gareth Bale, who meets it beautifully on the half-volley but the ball flies just wide. Great half of football.
2039: News from Craven Cottage where Zoltan Gera plays a one-two with Clint Dempsey but fires straight at Asmir Begovic from 20 yards.
2035: Another excellent save by Heurelho Gomes - this time from team-mate Gareth Bale. Gareth Barry's ball in hits Bale and almost creeps inside the post, but Gomes scrambles to his left and pushes it away.
2032: Younes Kaboul is the first man into the referee's book for a foul on Craig Bellamy - and that will be a very welcome sight for Bellamy, who is attacking Kaboul on the left.
2030: Michael Dawson wins a free header from a corner, but he's a long way out and can only nod it towards goal where Man City clear.
2028: And now Spurs have to defend a corner. It's a pretty poor one by Craig Bellamy - but it comes out to Adam Johnson, whose fiercely struck effort is well-saved to his left by Heurelho Gomes. No sign of that injury yet.
2026: Spurs have a free-kick on the left, and Gareth Bale is with it, but it's a comfortable catch for Marton Fulop.
2022: Goal... disallowed, but the Spurs pressure is building. Ledley King is climbing on Gareth Barry as he heads home a Gareth Bale corner. Steve Bennett in no doubt about that one.
2019: Wayne Bridge's foul on Younes Kaboul gives Gareth Bale the chance to fizz over a free-kick from the right and Peter Crouch heads against the post. Seconds later, Bale is in space in the box but sees his shot blocked.
2018: It's rather more subdued at Craven Cottage... Damien Duff scuffs the first shot of any description well wide for Fulham, but shortly after Zoltan Gera goes closer with one just over.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is unusually animated tonight. A sign of the prize at stake. He came racing out of his dug-out - accompanied by henchmen Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan - when Kolo Toure ran to referee Steve Bennett to complain about a tackle by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Poor Robert Mancini was heavily outnumbered as he tried to put Manchester City's side of the story."
2015: Luka Modric swings over a decent-looking corner for Spurs, Younes Kaboul and Wayne Bridge jump for it at the far post, and the Man City defender wins it.
2013: Kolo Toure is encouraging referee Steve Bennett to book Benoit Assou-Ekotto for a foul on Adam Johnson. The ref's not really interested in the Man City defender's opinion.
2010: Brilliant, brilliant skill from Carlos Tevez as he darts between two defenders on the left, but Heurelho Gomes bundles the ball behind for a corner which comes to nothing. Tevez looking very dangerous.
2008: Typically rampaging run from Carlos Tevez. He picks up the ball in the centre circle, surges past Michael Dawson and then gets goal-side of Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the box. As the Spurs full-back is falling, Tevez's shot thwacks him in the head and he needs a bit of treatment.
2007: Craig Bellamy takes his time getting up after challenging with Younes Kaboul on the halfway line. He's flexing his knee, but looks ready to carry on.
2005: Craig Bellamy cuts in from the left and plays it in low for Gareth Barry, who hits a first-time shot well wide.
2004: Fairly hectic start. "It's like a cup match already," reckons Lawro on BBC 5 live. Gareth Bale chests the ball down and lifts it over Pablo Zabaleta before hustling to the edge of the box where he's crowded out.
From anon via text: "Cheesy. Can't stand it. Me and the wife are off down the curry house for a meal. I am leaving the phone at home. If Spurs win I will sit and watch the recording."
2002: And now at Eastlands.
2000: They're under way... at Fulham-Stoke.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Manchester City make a habit of providing a full-on build up to their big games this season - and none have been bigger than this. Eastlands has just been treated to a rousing operatic version of Man City's Blue Moon anthem. All slightly surreal but went down a storm with the locals."
1958: Harry Redknapp and Roberto Mancini shake hands. "Good luck," says 'Arry. Heurelho Gomes is giving some last-minute instructions to Ledley King, who is starting his second game in five days.
1957: After all that, I've started to feel a bit nervous myself. Here come the teams. The atmosphere is IMMENSE.
1955: I've learned that the singer was Martin Toal, a British operatic tenor based in the north-west of the UK. This is irrelevant really... We're on to Blue Moon now, the City scarves are in the air. How are the nerves?
1952: With NINE minutes to go until kick-off, the crowd at Eastlands are treated to a rendition of Nessun Dorma by a singer I don't recognise. Some Spurs fans don't seem to be loving it...
1948: The Man City players are just heading town the tunnel after the warm-up... These are heady times for football fans aren't they? There's tonight for a start, the Football League play-offs, Sunday's Prem climax, Fulham in the Europa League final, the FA Cup final, the Champions League final... and then... the World Cup. Actually too exciting.
From Leroy_1 on Twitter:
"MASSIVE game in the Prem tonight. Personally I'm hoping neither Stoke nor Fuham win because I'm a Blackburn fan..."
1944: It's like a contest between City and Spurs fans for (a) how nervous they are, and (b) how little faith they have in their teams. More breaking news from Eastlands: Roberto Mancini is wearing the scarf.
From Zoe via text: "Cheesy, surround sound on, wine poured, game on... aarrrggghhhh. Please City... for once... please."
1939: Wish people like Man In Black (see below) would stop ruining the fun with their accurate information... Meanwhile, the big news from Eastlands is: there is light rain.
From Man in Black on 606
"Why are people saying the fourth-placed team will play Champions League football next year? It gets them to the qualifying round."
1934: Peter Crouch starts in the league for the first time in six games. Big chance for him to impress Fabio tonight. According to
Crouch and Jermain Defoe have managed to score 28 goals in the 30 matches that they have started together in the Prem.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Eastlands: "Harry Redknapp knows a win here tonight will secure Champions League football for Tottenham - and his team selection reflects it as Aaron Lennon starts. The atmosphere around Eastlands reflects the importance of the occasion and Manchester City's fans will be boosted by the news that Carlos Tevez starts, despite rumours of an injury."
1930: TEAM NEWS Fulham v Stoke Fulham boss Roy Hodgson reverts to his first-choice XI after resting several players in Sunday's win over West Ham. Tonight's team is the same one that beat Hamburg in the Europa League six days ago, with the exception of Bobby Zamora. The Cottagers' top scorer is sidelined with an Achilles injury, so Clint Dempsey plays in an unfamiliar lone striker role. No such team-juggling for Tony Pulis. The Stoke manager names an unchanged line-up, right down to the seven substitutes.
1929: TEAM NEWS Man City v Tottenham Manchester City make only one change from the side that started against Aston Villa on Saturday as Gareth Barry returns from injury to replace Patrick Vieira. Tottenham bring in Aaron Lennon in for David Bentley and Peter Crouch for Roman Pavlyuchenko, while Heurelho Gomes starts in goal and Gareth Bale is on the left of midfield. Ledley King starts his second game in five days.
From Neil via text: "Dear Caroline, I'm so nervous I want to wake up in the morning and Spurs are fourth, tell me it'll all be OK. I really hope Spurs win and we crack the top four at last. Man City = danger, Spurs = poor on the road. It's tense."
1920: Not sure the history between these two clubs means an awful lot when you consider that City are a rather different beast these days, but here goes: Spurs have won 18 of the 25 Premier League meetings, including the 10 of the last 11 and the last three. However, Harry Redknapp's record in Manchester isn't good: he has won only once in 21 Premier League visits, including 18 defeats.
1916: I think I can safely say that I have never seen so many texts/606 messages/tweets for a midweek game before. And not all of them are about Fulham-Stoke either. Keep 'em coming and I'll get as many as I can in...
From Dan on 606:
"Marton Fulop looks a great big weak link in that team, I really do worry about him. I bet Harry will be telling them to have a go from range early on and try and unsettle him. I can't believe we have two of the best keepers in the league and yet it all rests on Sunderland's number three. Guess money don't buy us everything. How about we get Buffon as third choice for next year?"
From benality on 606:
"I'd like Spurs to win and get fourth spot, simply because City will inevitably get their chance within the next few years."
1910: ...And then of course, there's Fulham v Stoke, which seems unlikely to herald a fundamental shift in the landscape of English football's elite, but nonetheless could be crucial in the battle for 10th.
1908: Right, here's definite team news: Gareth Barry in for Patrick Vieira. Ledley King and Heurelho Gomes start for Spurs, as do Aaron Lennon and Peter Crouch.
1905: No definite team news yet. But the rumours are that Heurelho Gomes is fit to start for Spurs, and Gareth Barry will come back in for City, replacing Patrick Vieira.
1902: And if you're in any doubt as to how HUGE this game is, here's some words from
BBC sports correspondent and all-round clever man Dan Roan:
"It seems we do indeed stand on the brink of a fundamental shift in the landscape of English football's elite. Perhaps the era of 'Big Four' domination is over. The recession and Uefa's determination to tackle over-spending may well combine to ensure a less predictable, more balanced competitive environment." Crikey...
From harrytotherescue on 606:
"I have never been so nervous over a Spurs game. No fingernails, can't eat dinner 'cos my guts are in knots, and I'm about to fall off my seat cause I'm so close to the edge. And it's not even kicked off yet. COME ON YOU SPURS!"
From Smithers in Ilkley via text: "Typical City would be to beat Spurs convincingly then lose against West Ham on Sunday. Let's hope we'll finally recover from Cityitis. Come on City!!!"
From BoisterousCitizenTom on 606:
"Re 1851: No, it's not going to be a draw, it can't be. This is our year, City to win either 2-1 or 3-1, with Adebayor grabbing a goal."
1856: Spurs boss Harry Redknapp says there's no pressure on his side. "We didn't go into the season expecting this. The only team expected to break into the top four would have been Manchester City." City boss Roberto Mancini responded: "There is no pressure. It is a football match, not a war." However his programme notes tell a rather different story: "All our players want to be in Champions League and so do I. This game now becomes the most important game for this club for many years." But no pressure though, right?
From Southern Goliath on 606:
"Incredibly nervous, but also excited. Come on you Spurs! We must take the next step if we want to progress. We may not get a better chance."
1851: Apparently not, because here it is: Manchester City v Tottenham in a showdown worth somewhere between £30m and £60m (depending on your media of choice). Spurs will clinch fourth if they win. City will only need to match Spurs' result on the last day of the season if they win. As always in these situations, I'll say this: it's going to be a draw isn't it?
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