Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Manchester City v Spurs - 04.01.06
Spurs Odyssey Banner

Over 25 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey

Main Page
News and views from Paul Smith, and links to the interactive features of the Spurs Odyssey Site. [more..]
Articles, reports, views, opinions, comments and other features all related to Spurs. [more..]

Harry Hotspur's Tribute Pages to the late great Bill Nicholson

Buy this commemorative plate!

Match Reports
Manchester City v Spurs, 04.01.06


Mido, 31
Keane, 83

Attendance: - 40,808

Referee: - Mr. Alan Wiley

Man City (4-4-2):- James; Onuoha (sub Sommeil, 53), Dunne, Distin (Capt.), Thatcher; Sinclair, Jihai Sun, Barton, Ireland (sub Croft, 71); Cole, Vassell (sub Wright-Phillips, 71)

Subs not used: - Jordan, Fowler (no substitute keeper)

Booked: - Sinclair, Thatcher

Spurs (4-4-2):- Robinson; Stalteri, Dawson, Gardner, Lee (sub Pamarot, 73); Lennon (sub Defoe, 84), Jenas, Carrick, Brown; Mido (sub Rasiak, 88), Keane (Capt.)

Subs not used: - Cerny; Mendes

Booked: - Carrick, Brown

Superior (yes, superior) Spurs completed a thoroughly deserved two-goal victory at Eastlands last night to improve their ever-more authentic claim for a Champions League place, putting a six-point margin between their nearest rivals – Arsenal. Strikers Mido and Keane got the goal-scoring glory, but this was a great team performance, and one achieved without the absent Edgar Davids, Teemu Tainio and Ledley King.

The strength of Spurs’ squad has been hailed all season of course, but this difference between the two sides was all too evident last night, as Stuart Pearce, unable to field Sibierski and Claudio Reyna, had to make do with Jihai Sun in the centre of midfield, where he did not inspire confidence from the home fans. Pearce’s squad does lack depth, as he had to start with Ireland on the left of midfield, Onuoha at right back, and had two more youngsters used as substitutes – Croft and Bradley Wright-Philips. Another thing lacking in the City side is the height of a target man up front. Andrew Cole and Darius Vassell might have been full of goals recently, but they needed the ball to feet, and by and large, Spurs defended stoutly to deprive them of the service they required to put the visitors under any prolonged pressure.

This was an assured performance by Spurs, who dominated most of the first half with a confident game that had plenty of stylish approach play, but lacked the killer touch that might have put the game beyond City’s reach before the interval. As it happened, Spurs travelling army of some 2,000 loyal fans had to endure some frustration in the second half, as City did win more corners than Spurs, before skipper Robbie Keane put the game out of sight of the home team, whose fans deserted the stadium in their hordes well before the end.

Michael Brown made only his second league start of the season, playing on the left of midfield. Brown played a Davids-type role on his own level, which was typically 100% effort, determined tackling, some decent runs, but sadly one or two poor shots. Aaron Lennon was a welcome inclusion on the right wing, and by chasing what seemed to be a lost cause, created Spurs first goal. Joey Barton was the only City player who seemed similarly inclined, as he chased a block from an attempted Carrick clearance in the second half to create some havoc in the Spurs area in the second half.

It was great to see Pedro Mendes on the Spurs bench, but sadly he did not get a chance to display the sort of skills that he “beat” the other Manchester team with on the same date last year.

Cole did have the first opportunity of the game in the first minute, shielding a cross from the right, before turning but firing high over the bar. Then came a long spell of domination, a silenced home crowd, but no end product for Spurs, who might have been the home side. Jenas sent Keane away after 16 minutes, and Robbie went down under a challenge, but the referee saw it as a fair tackle and only a corner for Spurs. Mid-way through the half, Lee passed the ball inside to Carrick who hit a shot from the left side of goal that went wide.

Andrew Cole tried to put in City’s right back Nedum Onuoha, but Michael Dawson was alert to the threat and cleared confidently. Paul Robinson was not forced to make a save till injury time. Carrick got a justified warning from referee Alan Wiley, after his attempted pass to Lee had been intercepted by Sinclair. Carrick chased his former West Ham colleague down the right channel, and made an honest effort to tackle, but committed the foul. At this stage, City were winning a few corners, but their only attempts on goal came from wayward Richard Dunne headers.

Spurs took the lead in the 31st minute, after Paul Stalteri tried a clever ball inside Distin for Lennon. Distin tried to shepherd the ball out of play, and gave up too early, thinking the ball was going out. Lennon was behind him though and didn’t give up, as he rescued the ball on the bye-line and cut back for Mido to side-foot home, passing Dunne’s out-stretched foot into the bottom left corner. Robbie Keane had a great chance five minutes later, after Mido headed on Lennon’s cross. Robbie was in space at the back of the area with time to pick his spot, but he hit the ball far too wide.

Cole had another half chance at the other end after a chipped ball from Dunne, but Lee was alert and cleared for a corner. Carrick then got booked for repeating his earlier tackle, and Gardner got harshly penalised on the stroke of half time for holding Cole. Joey Barton stepped up and brushed the side netting with his free kick. Spurs had some domination at the start of the second half without threatening goal, but the second goal just would not come. Thatcher failed to deal with a Robinson clearance and Lennon controlled well, and then cut back for Keane, who fired wide. The best City could manage at this stage, despite a little pressure, was a shot from distance by Thatcher that never worried Paul Robinson, hailed of course as “England’s Number One”, whereas his opponent was decried as “England’s Number Four” by the travelling fans.

The atmosphere was heated up when Michael Brown went flying into a tackle on the right flank to bring down Joey Barton. Brown got his deserved yellow card, but the referee had failed to see substitute right back Sommeil’s late and cynical hack at Young-Pyo Lee that led to the Spurs left back being stretchered off. Lee was replaced by Pamarot, who may keep the left back slot this Sunday at Leicester, as Lee will be out for at least two weeks.

Brown had a good run and a decent shot driven just wide, after being sent away by Carrick, and then Bradley Wright-Philips had City’s best chance of the game, as he got goal-side of the Spurs defence receiving a lofted ball, but hitting the shot wide across the target. Spurs punished City, with a route one goal, becoming something of a fixture, as Robinson cleared, Mido flicked on and Robbie Keane finished superbly with an early right foot shot low to James’ right. The points were secure, and Robinson finally had to make a save in stoppage time from a cross/shot, forcing Robbo to dive to his left and retrieve as the ball crossed the area.

Spurs thus maintained their unbeaten record in four games at The City of Manchester Stadium, and the next Premiership game at Anfield on January 14th takes on new proportions, as Spurs will be battling for third place! That WILL be a toughie!

Bearing in mind the pain we have endured in some seasons recently in struggling to reach 40 points too late in the season, this Spurs fan is still in dreamland, floating on a cloud of six-point-clear smugness! Keep smiling Spurs fans. We’ve earnt this day, and the rewards that hopefully will follow in 2006.

· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Read the preview for this game.

Top of page | Index to 2005-6 Match Reports

Spursometer 04.01.06
Click here to open the Spursometer!
Fixtures, appearances, current league table, form guide, reserves fixtures, and Spurs Honours. [more..]
Find match reports, appearances, goalscorers and features from previous seasons. [more..]
Pick of the Week
Every week we select a Spurs related site from the whole world wide web and highlight it in this section. [more..]
View a comprehensive list of links to other Spurs related sites. (With a few extras) [more..]
About this site
· Overview
· History
· Contributors
Site Owner
· Paul Smith

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Full details van be found via the Spurs Odyssey Privacy Policy