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Man City 1-2 Tottenham

By Phil Dawkes

Darren Bent
Forward Bent continued his good form with two strikes

Darren Bent scored twice as 10-man Tottenham continued their good recent run against nine-man Manchester City.

Robinho fired the opener for the home side in the 15th minute before Gelson Fernandes was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Bent ran clear and slotted home to equalise for Spurs and then sidefooted his second on the hour.

City captain Richard Dunne was shown a straight red and Spurs' Benoit Assou-Ekotto was dismissed late on.

The result extends Tottenham's unbeaten run under Harry Redknapp to five matches and will be particularly sweet for the man himself - only six weeks ago his Portsmouth side were thumped 6-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Bent is flying - Redknapp

When the initial anger regarding the sendings off subsides, City manager Mark Hughes will be left to reflect on the fact that his side remain consistent only in their inconsistency.

Fuelled by their newfound confidence, Tottenham started the stronger and had the lions' share of possession, and they forged the game's first real chance through the sprightly Luka Modric, who curled a decent long-range effort just past Joe Hart's left-hand post.

However, in what was essentially Manchester City's first real attack and against the run of play, they opened the scoring.

Gomes could only parry a shot from Darius Vassell from the right side of the penalty area and Robinho was on hand to fire into the largely unguarded net.

606: DEBATE
tottylovespurs01
The wind was taken out of the home side's sails, though, when Fernandes was sent off following a second yellow card.

He was first booked after 18 minutes for unsporting behaviour and then six minutes later was controversially shown red for an illegal challenge on David Bentley, whose dismissal changed the course of the match.

Shortly after, City defender Dunne completely missed an innocuous-looking long-ball forward and allowed Bent to race clear before calmly slotting the ball under the advancing Hart for his 10th of the season.

After the break Tottenham were able to funnel their numerical advantage into a domination of possession. However, real openings were rare and City, with the bit between their embittered teeth, punched above their reduced weight.

City's resilience was only brief, though, and Bent did grab his second of the game on 63 minutes. Jermaine Jenas held a long ball up and laid the ball off to the onrushing striker who expertly slotted his shot inside the far post.

Harry believes in me more than Ramos - Bent

As befitting a 32m player, Robinho continued to offer City hope and Gomes was forced to palm aside his 25-yard shot on 75 minutes.

City were reduced to nine men with 10 minutes to go when Dunne capped a horrible afternoon by dragging down Bent when the striker was through on goal.

Tottenham were themselves reduced to 10-men late on when Assou-Ekotto was shown a second yellow for a rash foul on Pablo Zabaleta.

City pushed hard for an equaliser but it was Tottenham who came closest to adding to the score when counter-attacking substitute Aaron Lennon found Bent in space, only for his shot to be saved.


Manchester City boss Mark Hughes:

Hughes philosophical despite loss

"We started very brightly but losing Gelson made it very difficult for us.

"I'm not sure he's made any contact and the referee needs to take into consideration the conditions.

"I thought the players showed fantastic character and we really forced the issue and Spurs were hanging on at the end."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"It's been a fantastic couple of weeks for us.

"Today was a big game for us and I thought we started the game well and suddenly found ourselves 1-0 down but we got back in and started playing.

"It was a funny old day with the three sendings off."


Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Fernandes, Vassell (Hamann 31), Robinho, Mwaruwari.
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Elano, Jo, Evans, Ben-Haim.

Sent Off: Fernandes (26), Dunne (83).

Booked: Fernandes.

Goals: Robinho 16.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Zokora, Jenas, Modric (Lennon 71), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Hutton, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell, Dawson, O'Hara.

Sent Off: Assou-Ekotto (89).

Booked: Zokora, King, Assou-Ekotto.

Goals: Bent 29, 64.

Att: 41,893

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Darren Bent with 8.29 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Premier League as it happened
09 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
09 Nov 08 |  Football


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