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Man City 3 – 2 Spurs
Full time Well, well, well. That proved to be worth the hype, how can Manchester United and Arsenal follow that?
Full time Webb blows his whistle and Eastlands erupts, Balotelli will get the plaudits but City were very lucky to get anything after giving away a two goal lead
90+4min played GOAL: He slots it home and Defoe’s miss is ever more costly
90+4min played Balotelli to take
90+3min played Penalty! Balotelli brought down by King. This will be the last kick of the game
90+2min played Pienaar attempts to play Defoe in but Lescott pushes it away before its through
90min played My god, Bales bursts forward with Defoe keeping pace. The Welshman squares it but Defoe can’t turn it into the open goal. A cm away from winning
90min played Four minutes added
89min played Game is starting to peter out, but both sides should give it one last heave before the end
87min played Pienaar on for Lennon, Harry really wants to shore this up
86min played Spurs are going to keep possession it seems, patiently passing before going all the way back to Friedel
85min played City will surely be happy to hold on now, Spurs will keep going forward with intention
83min played Parker receives treatment after Balotelli catches him in the head as they stumble, looked accidental but we’ll let the papers decide Mario’s intentions
80min played Spurs are still growing in this game, they might be disappointed if they don’t turn this around – despite going two behind
78min played Balotelli booked for a pointless kick out on Assou Ekotto
77min played Defoe gets in behind Lescott brilliantly but the ball catches under his foot and gives Lescott a chance to recover
76min played City swing in a free kick but Balotelli heads wide
75min played Last quarter of an hour, is there a winner in this?
73min played Lennon runs it into the box but the shot is too weak to trouble Hart. Kaboul is on the ground after an elbow from Lescott – lucky not to be spotted
72min played Spurs look the team more interested in going on to win this, Clichy is forced to head it over as Bale delivers a great cross
70min played Lennon, who’s playing on the left, cuts in on Savic and lays it off to Modric who shoots over. Lennon should be taking savic on the outside in those situations there though. Spurs are on the up
70min played Spurs corner, this is the game we expected
69min played Friedel claims it well, Spurs are living with the pressure so far
68min played Brave header from Parker to clear the ball away from Richards, another City corner
67min played Another corner after Spurs fail to follow the ball out after a clearance
66min played Corner for City after Parker puts an end to Silva’s run. Van der Vaart off for Jake Livermore as Redknapp hlooks to put a bit more solidity on the pitch
65min played Balotelli comes on for Dzeko
63min played GOAL: What a goal from Gareth Bale, he scoops the ball into the goal like a Beckham free kick a cut back from Lennon after a lovely run. Triffic stuff as ‘arry would say
62min played City are attempting to slow the tempo but Spurs are after them like terriers at every turn, forcing them to move it quickly forward
61min played Modric is caught in possession by Richards, the right back has been impressive today
60min played Mancini can but laugh at Savic’s mistake, very poor from the central defender
59min played GOAL: Defoe capitalises on a weak header from Savic, rounds Hart and slots it home
57min played GOAL: Lescott bundles the ball in from a corner after a flick from Dzeko. Not sure how much he knew about that but good ball in is rewarded
57min played Silve jinks in from wide but his ball is cut out by Kaboul
56min played Silva almost picks out Aguero with a pass over the top, Friedel’s wise to it though.
55min played GOAL: Silva plays a lovely through ball, Nasri slips by Walker and smashes it home. That’ll sting Spurs fans
53min played Another short corner from Spurs, they badly miss Adebayor’s presence. Nice move follows but Bale slips in the box and the chance passes
52min played Parker goes into the book for a pull on Aguero as the Argentine held up the ball wide on the left
50min played Bale almost gets in behind the City defence, but Milner times his tackle perfectly. It’s starting to heat up now
49min played Brain-dead from van der Vaart, opting to shoot from 30 years rather than looking up to see Lennon in space
47min played Good pressure from City to win a corner, testing Spurs more than they have in the entire first half. Another corner wasted, poor set pieces from both sides today
46min played Quite a flat atmosphere in Eastlands, there hasn’t been much to get excited about but you’d think City fans would be a bit more excited today
45min played We’re back under way
45min played The teams are back, no changes yet but it can’t be long until Redknapp brings on Pavlyuchenko to add some height. One goal will win this judging by the first half
Half time Manchester United have arrived at the Emirates to be greeted by a man who is being paid to wear a dinosaur costume, we’ll have live match commentary of that follow up to August’s 8-2 mauling of Wenger’s men
Half time Nil all in a very terse first half, not much to report except for a few moments of skill from Aguero and the absence of Gareth Bale
Half time Scott Parker wins the ball with a great tackle, the crowd go berserk calling for a free kick and public hanging, modern football eh? Ref gives a throw in. Half time
41min played Since Bale has switched Richards has found a lot of freedom to close down Assou Ekotto and put the Spurs midfield under pressure
39min played The Tottenham defence have done very well so far, frustrating City at every turn and never looking uncomfortable
37min played Classy from City to keep possession in a tight position then switching it, again comes to nothing. You know who’d be good in this game? Carlos Tevez
35min played Spurs have taken a step up now, City are a bit stunted at the moment. Flat game so far
35min played Kaboul wellies it high into the stand, Redknapp grimaces
34min played Bale gets free and runs at Lescott who just blocks his path, free to Spurs in shooting range
33min played Milner tries a probing Xavi-esque pass… goal kick to Spurs
32min played Walker gets free and crosses to the back post but its wee Aaron Lennon against Micah Richards, the clearance falls to van der Vaart whose shot is blocked. Better from Spurs
29min played Richards robs Modric and bursts forward before Aguero opts to shoot instead of looking for Silva, great save from Friedel. Corner is cleared
27min played Bales switched to the right, bit more patience with the ball needed from Tottenham when they do get it
25min played Game has yet to come to life but Aguero pounces on a quick free kick and is jockeyed well by Kaboul before he just loses him and cuts back, Silva shoots wide. Lovely turn from Aguero
22min played Spurs have yet to use any width, Lennon and Bale haven’t really figured
20min played Another short corner, Parker takes a pot shot that goes harmlessly wide
20min played Lovely pass from Modric finds Assou Ekotto, corner to Spurs
19min played City are warming up now, Spurs will have to live with this spell to have any hope
17min played Nasri, Silva and Aguero link up well but Dzeko gets in the way of the shot. Unlucky for City, another warning for Spurs
15min played Nasri finds a bit of space to run at the centre backs, it comes to nothing but Parker and Modric can’t allow that too often
14min played Decent odds for a sending off, now that Clichy who is going to have Lennon and Walker running at him all day is on a yellow. Get ’em while they’re hot
12min played Centre backs go up, Nasri plays the corner along the ground straight to Modric
11min played The match has had quite an ‘Italian’ pace to it so far, Aguero dallies over a shot but it’s deflected for a corner
9min played Clichy gets booked for blocking a throw in, not very bright.
8min played Patient build up from City is broken up by Scott Parker with a very ‘Scott Parker’ tackle
7min played Centre backs go up for the free but its played short and comes to nothing
6min played Walker surges forward in th efirst real signal of intent and wins a free on the right hand side off Clichy
5min played No real incidents of note yet, but there’s a nice tension in the play that suggests the game may come alive soon
2min played Cagey opening couple of minutes, Spurs fans are in good voice – loud boos for Nasri’s first touch
1min Lennon on the right, Bale on the left, Clichy breathes a sigh of relief
0min Tottenham kick off and are on the front foot.
0min If Bale starts on the left, his battle with Micah Richards should be exciting. If he starts on the right, it could be a long old day for the out-of-sorts Clichy. Teams are in the tunnel, King and Richards lead their sides out – two players who should be in the England set up this summer but probably won’t be.
0min This is the first proper title clash not to feature any of the artists formerly known as the Top Four in a long time. It’s also the last match before Redknapp is due in court to answer charges over tax evasion with the case set to begin tomorrow.
And the man Roberto Mancini will be waving imaginary cards at is Howard Webb, no word on the fourth official Redknapp will be asking his assistants to berate.
The teams are in: Man City: Hart, Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Kolarov, Onuoha, De Jong, Balotelli.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Defoe.
Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Dawson, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pienaar.
City are without their two most influential players this season as Yaya Toure is on African Nations duty and Vincent Kompany is serving his suspension while Spurs are likely to have Ledley King and Scott Parker in their line up.
That may be enough to tip the balance ever so slightly in the Londonders favour, especially now that Mancini looks to have returned to the cautious approach which earned him a share of criticism last season.
I’ll be back with the teams when they get in, in the mean time: find out how much Gareth Bale is worth.
Man City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Richards, Zabaleta, Lescott, Savic, Rekik, Clichy, Kolarov, Johnson, Milner, De Jong, Barry, Nasri, Silva, Hargreaves, Dzeko, Balotelli, Aguero, Suarez, Razak.
Tottenham (from): Friedel, Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul, Walker, King, Bassong, Bale, Modric, Van der Vaart, Parker, Livermore, Kranjcar, Defoe, Rose, Dos Santos, Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Lennon, Pienaar, Dawson.