Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Report - Manchester City v Spurs, 10.02.2001
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Man City v Spurs, 10.02.2001


Spurs scorer:-
Rebrov, 89

Attendance:- 34,399

Referee:- S. Dunn

Man City (4-4-2):- Weaver;Haaland, Howey, Dunne, Granville;Kanchelskis (sub Ostendstad, 60),Whitley, Wiekens (sub Grant, 85), Tiatto; Goater, Huckerby

Subs not used:- Nash; Prior, Ritchie

Booked:- Tiatto

Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; Perry (sub Booth, 45), Campbell, King; Anderton (sub Carr, 60), Freund, Sherwood, Leonhardsen, Young; Doherty, Rebrov

Subs not used:- Walker; Thelwell, Clemence

No bookings

After City had dominated the play, and had the better chances (including one unfortunate disallowed goal, by all accounts), Sergei Rebrov scored his eighth league goal of the season to give us our first league away win! Here is Jim Duggan's report (Don't forget that Jim's web site can be found at

This was a classic smash and grab away performance against a modest City side on a pitch not conducive to fluent football. Spurs started with the same team as on Wednesday night with Doherty up front with Rebrov and King at the back. City had new loan signing Kanchelskis on the right wing of a side of journeymen or sub-standard players.

The train journey up from London was quite eventful. I was amazed to find my Spurs site featured in the Times Football Handbook, but dismayed to hear reports of the Spurs hooligans getting off at Stockport for an arranged ruck and the Police following other supporters around the centre of Manchester. This fixture has a history of violence, notably the pitch invasion of 1993 and getting in and out of Moss Side was always going to be tricky.

City had the first effort, when Sullivan had a straightforward save from a 25 yarder from Wiekins and King had to be alert to clear from a dangerous cross from Tiatto. Spurs had an early shout for a penalty when Sherwood was clearly being held by Haaland, but referees rarely give these, especially to away teams. City started brightly with Tiatto and Kanchelskis giving good width to their play.

As with many Spurs matches on the road, the game was quite scrappy and littered with errors, which make claims that the Premiership is the best league in the world look laughable. Much to my annoyance, Spurs continued to pump high balls forward, and even when Doherty managed to win them, it never produced good possession. It is also disappointing to see Perry with so much responsibility in starting attacks as his distribution and vision are lacking.

The best Spurs chance of the half fell to Doherty who headed wide from an Anderton corner. Soon after, Huckerby, who often saves his modest best for games against us, skinned Perry on our right and sent over a cross that Ledley King diverted onto the post and along the goal line into Sully’s grateful arms with Kanchelskis about to pounce. From where we were at the other end of the pitch, this looked all over a goal and we could not believe our luck when we realised we’d got away with it. Maybe it was going to be our day.

At half time, while there were the usual moans about the quality of the football, most people were happy with our position in the match, but there were the usual concerns about where a goal was going to come from. Graham, getting into this tactical substitution thing, rang the changes with Booth coming on for Perry, with Doherty switching to centre back.

I was still returning from the bar when City had their goal disallowed and so cannot offer a comment, but who cares. The ref didn’t give it, like he didn’t give us the Sherwood penalty appeal. Apparently Sully muffed Tiatto’s cross after getting in a tangle with the Sol man, and Huckerby hooked home the rebound. Never mind, eh!

Huckerby flattered to deceive as ever, with the danger created by his pace being negated by his lack of brain. He did set up Kanchelskis for a good chance and we were indebted to Young for a fine saving tackle. Young had a good match at left wing-back and I hope he gets an extended run in the side in this position.

On the hour, Carr was introduced at the expense of Anderton (when most people were wanting the end of Sherwood or Leo) in what can be seen as a move to save the match rather than trying to win it. Carr had a tough match against Tiatto and was restricted in his usual forays forward.

City replaced Kanchelskis with Ostenstadt at about the same time and he nearly scored with his first touch when his glancing header from another Tiatto cross went wide of Sully’s left-hand post from inside the six-yard box. King blocked a Huckerby effort later on but that was the end of City. While Sol has not got a mention so far, it’s worth mentioning that he was the single most important reason we got a clean sheet.

Spurs were playing mainly on the break and had long-range efforts from Young (over) and Sherwood (wide), while Booth missed his chance to open his account from an acute angle.

Spurs fans were contemplating the record 5th consecutive 0-0 when out of the blue in the dying minutes a breakaway move ended with Leo threading a ball through to Rebrov, who all of a sudden was in on goal with only the keeper the beat, and managed to slip the ball past Weaver to send the traveling fans mad. It was a magic moment, giving us our first away league win of the season.

At the final whistle, all the players went over to the travelling fans, and although their work was over, we still had the tricky task of getting past the Police holding back the Spurs fans for over 40 minutes after the end of the match (as City fans tooled up with bricks were waiting in an ambush), and then walking from Moss Side to the City centre without getting battered. It was just like the old days in more ways than one.

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