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BBC Five Live's Steve Lee
"You learn the hard way in the Premiership"
 real 14k

Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Spurs subdued by resilient City
Steffen Iversen holds off the challenge of Paul Ritchie
Steffen Iversen holds off the challenge of Paul Ritchie
Tottenham 0-0 Manchester City

Tottenham were left frustrated after Manchester City battled to earn a draw at White Hart Lane in a game where Spurs dominated much of the possession.

The game ends Spurs' winning home run, but City will be thankful for an excellent display from keeper Nicky Weaver, who made crucial saves late in the second half as the home side looked to steal three points.

Spurs have now played all three promoted sides, but have only managed to take one victory, against Ipswich, games which George Graham will feel they should have won.

City were immediately pressurised right at the start of the match when a clever pass from Sergei Rebrov found Les Ferdinand in space.


It could have been worse, we had a lot of possession and missed a few chances, but City defended very well and almost caught us out on the break once or twice in the second half
  Spurs manager George Graham
His well-struck volley was parried by Nicky Weaver, but his clearance failed to avert the danger.

Oyvind Leonhardsen crossed for Steffen Iversen, but he was denied by desperate goal-line clearance from his fellow Norwegian compatriot Alfe Haaland.

Despite the considerable absence of Sol Campbell, Spurs look reassured at the back with the much-criticised Ramon Vega looking composed alongside Chris Perry.

City, in contrast, were forced into an early defensive change when Steve Howey went off and was replaced by Lee Crookes, but coped well with the physical presence of Ferdinand.

But despite dominating the first half, Spurs could not penetrate a spirited City defence. The home side were not short of inspiration with Rebrov playing behind the front two.

But Graham will no doubt be frustrated by the lack of scoring opportunities, especially with three strikers up front, as Rebrov and Iversen shot wide.

City's best, and only, chance of the first half saw Paulo Wanchope's header bounce awkwardly in front of Neil Sullivan, but the Spurs keeper watched the ball go past his left-hand post.


To take a point here is always a good result and I thought we fully deserved it - we were really awful at Charlton but we've played seven Premiership games now and in six of them we've done ourselves justice
  Man City manager Joe Royle
However, Spurs outlined their intention to maintain their undefeated home form when, at the start of the second half, Ramon Vega rattled the crossbar with a powerful header from Ben Thatcher's accurate cross.

They were then denied a goal on 65 minutes when referee Steve Bennett disallowed Rebrov's effort after he was adjudged to be off-side.

But they should have taken the lead minutes later when Rebrov squared for Leonhardsen, but his low shot was saved well by Weaver.

Joe Royle made a significant change when he introduced George Weah and he immediately made his impression when his superb close control released Wanchope.

The Costa Rican had only Sullivan to beat, but his shot narrowly missed the post.

Spurs then forced Weaver into another good save, this time from Rebrov's fierce 25-yard shot, but were caught short when the influential Weah forced a low save from Neil Sullivan from a City counter-attack.

Rebrov again countered with another stinging long range effort, but Weaver was equal to the task as he parried low to his left.


Tottenham: Sullivan, Carr, Freund, Perry, Sherwood, Ferdinand, Iversen, Rebrov, Leonhardsen, Thatcher, Vega. Subs: Walker, Doherty, Young, Clemence, Davies.

Man City: Weaver, Whitley, Howey, Prior, Ritchie, Haaland, Wiekens, Tiatto, Dickov, Wanchope, Horlock. Subs: Wright, Weah, Kennedy, Bishop, Crooks.

Referee: S Bennett (Orpington)

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