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Man City   0 - 1   Tottenham

Peter Crouch heads the winner as Tottenham beat Manchester City
Crouch nods home to give Spurs all three points at Eastlands

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Eastlands

Tottenham edged out Manchester City in the battle for a place in next season's Champions League as Peter Crouch's late goal gave them victory at Eastlands.

Crouch bundled home a goal that could be worth at least £30m to Spurs with only eight minutes left after Manchester City's on-loan keeper Marton Fulop could only parry Younes Kaboul's deflected cross into his path.

The win that secured a top-four finish in the Premier League for Spurs was no more than they deserved as they emerged as the vastly superior side to Manchester City - who must now continue their expensive refurbishment programme in the Europa League.

And the confirmation of a place at European football's top table is a glowing tribute to the rejuvenation undertaken at White Hart Lane since Harry Redknapp took over early last season with the club languishing in the relegation places.

FOOTBALL BLOG
Phil McNulty

Redknapp has assembled an attractive side with elements of silk and steel, and they were all on show on a thunderous night when they went in search of the three points they knew would clinch the prize.

It looked like the celebrations would have to go on ice until Sunday's final-day visit to relegated Burnley until Crouch finally took the last in a succession of chances to send the Spurs fans banked at one end of Eastlands into ecstasy.

Crouch had earlier hit a post and seen a header saved by Fulop, who also denied Jermain Defoe as Spurs took a stranglehold on proceedings after the break.

City never exerted authority at any stage, although Adam Johnson forced a fine save from Heurelho Gomes, who also prevented an own goal by Gareth Bale. An added concern came in the shape of a second half injury for Gareth Barry, with only five weeks to go before the start of the World Cup.

And boss Roberto Mancini must now face an uncertain future after failing in his remit to reward the riches of Eastlands and City's Abu Dhabi owners with a top four slot.

Changing room is buzzing - Crouch

City's directors, draped in sky blue scarves, applauded politely at the final whistle - but faces set in stone betrayed the scale of their disappointment. The Champions League was the target when Mancini replaced the harshly-dismissed Mark Hughes, and the question remains whether Hughes would have done any worse than the Italian with the vast resources on offer.

No such problems for Spurs, who can now ratchet up their ambitions, a fact readily recognised by supporters who were happy to be kept in after the final whistle to continue their celebrations.

Great feeling to be in top four - Redknapp

Redknapp demonstrated positive intent with a starting line-up that included Aaron Lennon, with Bale on the left-flank as a supply line for Defoe and Crouch.

And with City knowing only a win would serve their ultimate purpose, the attacking approach of both sides laid the foundations for a first 45 minutes rich in entertainment.

Carlos Tevez made a flying start, driving straight at the heart of the Spurs defence and forcing a crucial block out of Gomes after six minutes.

But Spurs also had their share of possession and threat on a night when the size of the prize on offer was graphically illustrated by the unusually animated behaviour of the normally placid Redknapp in his technical area.

Redknapp was almost up celebrating a goal in the 18th minute when Bale's free-kick was met by Crouch at the far post, but his header slammed against the outside of the upright and away to safety. Spurs were frustrated again moments later when King headed in Bale's corner, but was rightly penalised for holding down Barry.

Redknapp drenched by Spurs squad

City had struggled to test Gomes and, when they did break through the ranks of Spurs defenders, they found the Brazilian erecting a wall of defiance. He did well to block a 20-yard shot from Johnson and then pounced down to his left when Bale almost bundled Craig Bellamy's cross over the line.

Bale should have given Spurs the lead seven minutes before the interval, but he pulled his shot wide from 10 yards after Crouch headed Lennon's cross invitingly into his path.

City had the first sight of goal after the break when Barry met Johnson's cross at the far post, but no-one was on hand to apply the finishing touch as his return ball rolled harmlessly across the face of goal.

It was Barry's final contribution as he appeared to suffer an ankle injury in a challenge on the edge of his own area and limped away in great pain, watched by anxious England coach Fabio Capello. Patrick Vieira emerged as his replacement.

Hard work has paid off - Defoe

City's on-loan keeper Fulop had been well protected by his defence, but he proved his worth after 58 minutes when he saved low down as Defoe looked certain to convert Bale's pass.

As tempers flared, Tom Huddlestone was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after appearing to stamp on Nigel de Jong as he lay on the floor following a melee.

Spurs came agonisingly close to taking the lead with 19 minutes left as Defoe and Crouch slid in on Benoit Assou-Ekotto's low cross, only to both miss out by inches.

It was the signal for changes, as Redknapp sent on David Bentley for Lennon and City replaced the tiring Johnson with Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Spurs were looking the more likely side, and Fulop came to City's rescue again when he blocked Crouch's header with his legs - although the England striker should have done so much better than hit the keeper from another wonderful Bale cross.

Mancini admits disappointment after defeat by Spurs

The goal Spurs' second half performance merited finally arrived with eight minutes left as Crouch made up for his earlier misses with the strike that gives Redknapp's side the chance to earn that Champions League jackpot.

Bellamy was guilty of wretched defending, allowing Kaboul to advance into the area, and when a startled Fulop could only palm out his cross, Crouch was perfectly placed to head home.

Spurs survived to the final whistle without alarm - with the only problem on Redknapp's horizon a drenching from his elated players outside the dressing-room.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man City 0-1 Tottenham FT
(HT 0-0)
    • Crouch 82

    Man City

    Substitutes

    Tottenham

    Substitutes

    Ref: BennettAtt: 47,370
    MAN CITY
    TOTTENHAM

    Possession

    • Man City 50%
    • Tottenham 50%

    Attempts on target

    • Man City 5
    • Tottenham 6

    Attempts off target

    • Man City 5
    • Tottenham 4

    Corners

    • Man City 9
    • Tottenham 7

    Fouls

    • Man City 12
    • Tottenham 14
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:11 The referee signals the end of the game.
    • 90:00+3:14 Gareth Bale concedes a free kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta. Free kick taken by Marton Fulop.
    • Correction - 90:00+2:14 Short corner taken by David Bentley.
    • 90:00+2:14 Short corner worked by Gareth Bale.
    • 90:00+2:03 Roman Pavlyuchenko takes a shot. Save by Marton Fulop.
    • 90:00+0:43 The referee blows for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Direct free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 87:43 Substitution Luka Modric leaves the field to be replaced by Wilson Palacios.
    • 83:21 Substitution Craig Bellamy leaves the field to be replaced by Roque Santa Cruz.
    • 81:45 GOAL - Peter CrouchMan City 0 - 1 Tottenham Peter Crouch finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Man City 0-1 Tottenham.
    • 80:17 Substitution Roman Pavlyuchenko comes on in place of Jermain Defoe.
    • 79:42 Jermain Defoe fouled by Vincent Kompany, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Bentley.
    • 78:59 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Ledley King gets a block in.
    • 77:11 Jermain Defoe is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Kolo Toure restarts play with the free kick.
    • 76:55 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save made by Marton Fulop.
    • 75:29 Shot from just outside the box by Luka Modric goes over the target.
    • 74:43 Craig Bellamy takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Peter Crouch manages to make a clearance.
    • 73:16 Tom Huddlestone concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Bellamy. Free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
    • 70:51 Substitution Shaun Wright-Phillips on for Adam Johnson.
    • 70:34 Substitution David Bentley replaces Aaron Lennon.
    • 67:52 Inswinging corner taken by Gareth Bale from the right by-line.
    • 66:49 Outswinging corner taken by Gareth Bale from the left by-line.
    • 65:40 Booking The referee shows Benoit Assou-Ekotto a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 65:25 Benoit Assou-Ekotto is adjudged to have handled the ball. Nigel De Jong takes the indirect free kick.
    • 62:49 Tom Huddlestone is penalised for a handball. Vincent Kompany restarts play with the free kick.
    • 61:12 The referee blows for offside against Jermain Defoe. Indirect free kick taken by Kolo Toure.
    • 60:41 Kolo Toure gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermain Defoe. Tom Huddlestone takes the free kick.
    • 59:45 Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson, Emmanuel Adebayor produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
    • 58:32 Marton Fulop takes the free kick.
    • 58:32 Booking Booking for Tom Huddlestone.
    • 58:21 Tom Huddlestone concedes a free kick for a foul on Vincent Kompany.
    • 57:16 Unfair challenge on Jermain Defoe by Vincent Kompany results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
    • 55:53 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Patrick Vieira coming on for Gareth Barry.
    • 55:53 Short corner taken by Aaron Lennon.
    • 55:33 Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Marton Fulop.
    • 54:33 Foul by Younes Kaboul on Carlos Tevez, free kick awarded. Carlos Tevez takes the free kick.
    • 52:04 Aaron Lennon takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.
    • 51:42 Peter Crouch concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Barry. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Barry.
    • 50:56 Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes a shot and went wide right of the goal.
    • 48:38 Carlos Tevez is ruled offside. Heurelho Gomes takes the indirect free kick.
    • 47:33 Carlos Tevez is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 46:28 Outswinging corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the right by-line, Michael Dawson manages to make a clearance.
    • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+3:17 The first half comes to an end.
    • 45:00+2:15 Outswinging corner taken by Adam Johnson from the left by-line, free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Barry on Tom Huddlestone. Free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 43:31 Carlos Tevez produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 42:50 Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Gareth Bale, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
    • 42:06 Gareth Barry fouled by Peter Crouch, the ref awards a free kick. Gareth Barry restarts play with the free kick.
    • 41:30 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Bellamy, Kolo Toure takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
    • 39:30 Luka Modric gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong. Kolo Toure takes the direct free kick.
    • 38:31 Gareth Bale produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 37:51 The assistant referee signals for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
    • 37:25 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kolo Toure by Jermain Defoe. Vincent Kompany takes the direct free kick.
    • 35:34 The assistant referee flags for offside against Adam Johnson. Indirect free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
    • 34:05 Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the right by-line, Kolo Toure produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
    • 30:35 Pablo Zabaleta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermain Defoe. Gareth Bale takes the free kick.
    • 29:42 Booking Younes Kaboul goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 29:27 Younes Kaboul challenges Craig Bellamy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Bellamy takes the direct free kick.
    • 27:41 Gareth Bale takes a inswinging corner.
    • 27:11 Foul by Nigel De Jong on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
    • 26:31 Corner taken by Craig Bellamy, Emmanuel Adebayor produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
    • 26:19 Adam Johnson takes a shot. Heurelho Gomes makes a save.
    • 25:47 Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the right by-line to the near post.
    • 25:39 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Ledley King gets a block in.
    • 24:58 Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Gareth Bale, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gareth Bale.
    • 19:40 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Gareth Bale, Gareth Barry fouled by Ledley King, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Marton Fulop.
    • 18:01 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Blocked by Nigel De Jong.
    • 17:12 Unfair challenge on Younes Kaboul by Wayne Bridge results in a free kick. Gareth Bale produces a cross, Headed effort from close range by Peter Crouch bounces off the post.
    • 16:39 Unfair challenge on Gareth Bale by Nigel De Jong results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Bale.
    • 14:43 The assistant referee signals for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Michael Dawson takes the indirect free kick.
    • 12:43 Inswinging corner taken by Luka Modric, Wayne Bridge makes a clearance.
    • 11:28 Adam Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Direct free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 10:24 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Johnson by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Pablo Zabaleta restarts play with the free kick.
    • 9:49 The referee blows for offside against Emmanuel Adebayor. Heurelho Gomes takes the free kick.
    • 8:45 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Adam Johnson, Younes Kaboul makes a clearance.
    • 6:53 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 6:10 Emmanuel Adebayor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon. Michael Dawson takes the direct free kick.
    • 4:27 Younes Kaboul challenges Craig Bellamy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
    • 3:38 Michael Dawson challenges Craig Bellamy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
    • 2:41 Effort on goal by Gareth Barry from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 2:25 Peter Crouch is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
    • 1:35 Gareth Bale concedes a free kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta. Direct free kick taken by Marton Fulop.
    • 0:36 Jermain Defoe is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the match started.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League results

    5 May 2010 23:59 UK


    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 5 May 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 37 63 83
    2 Man Utd 37 54 82
    3 Arsenal 37 38 72
    4 Tottenham 37 28 70
    5 Man City 37 28 66
    6 Aston Villa 37 14 64
    7 Liverpool 37 26 62
    8 Everton 37 10 58
    9 Birmingham 37 -8 50
    10 Stoke 37 -10 47
    11 Blackburn 37 -15 47
    12 Fulham 37 -3 46
    13 Sunderland 37 -7 44
    14 Bolton 37 -26 36
    15 Wigan 37 -34 36
    16 Wolves 37 -25 35
    17 West Ham 37 -19 34
    18 Hull 37 -41 29
    19 Burnley 37 -42 27
    20 Portsmouth 37 -31 19

    see also
    Redknapp hails Spurs achievement
    06 May 10 |  Tottenham
    Mancini at Man City 'for years'
    06 May 10 |  Man City
    Premier League as it happened
    05 May 10 |  Football
    Wednesday's football photos
    05 May 10 |  Premier League


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