Tottenham 3 Man City 1: Dempsey, Defoe and Bale complete stunning comeback win to reinvigorate Spurs’ Champions League hopes

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes received a huge shot in the arm after they staged a stunning comeback which left Manchester City on the brink of relinquishing their Barclays Premier League crown.

Former Arsenal man Samir Nasri looked as if he was going to inflict another damaging defeat on Andre Villas-Boas’ men when he put City ahead in the first half.

Despite the return of Gareth Bale, Spurs struggled to get in to the game. They lacked cohesion and spirit for most of the game, but they scored three goals in eight minutes to claim a famous victory which means Manchester United will win the title tomorrow night if they beat strugglers Aston Villa at home.

Scroll down for Graham Chadwick’s photo showreel

That'll do it: Gareth Bale dinks the ball over Joe Hart to make it 3-1 and complete the comebackThat’ll do it: Gareth Bale dinks the ball over Joe Hart to make it 3-1 and complete the comeback

 

Cracker: Jermain Defoe curls home Tottenham's second goal, as Vincent Kompany looks on helplessCracker: Jermain Defoe curls home Tottenham’s second goal, as Vincent Kompany looks on helpless

Revival: Clint Dempsey celebrates the first of three Tottenham goals in seven minutes against Man CityRevival: Clint Dempsey celebrates the first of three Tottenham goals in seven minutes against Man City

Leveller: Clint Dempsey slides in to tap the ball in at the far post from a Gareth Bale cross and make it 1-1Leveller: Clint Dempsey slides in to tap the ball in at the far post from a Gareth Bale cross and make it 1-1

MATCH FACTS

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Sigurdsson (Holtby 60), Dembele, Parker (Huddlestone 61), Bale, Dempsey, Adebayor (Defoe 71).

Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Livermore, Caulker.

Goals: Dempsey 75, Defoe 79, Bale 82.

Booked: Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone.

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy (Lescott 90), Toure, Barry, Milner (Kolarov 46), Tevez, Nasri, Dzeko (Sinclair 82).

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Javi Garcia, Aguero, Toure.

Goals: Nasri 5.

Booked: Y Toure, Hart.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Attendance: 36,121.

Click here for the latest Premier League table, results, fixtures and stats

 

Clint Dempsey equalised for Spurs before Jermain Defoe marked his return with a goal and Bale rounded off the win with his 23rd goal of the season in the 82nd minute.

Roberto Mancini will find the trip back up to Lancashire tonight difficult given that his team dominated the majority of the game.

The way in which they folded at the end of the second half demonstrated why they do not deserve to be retain their title, however.

Andre Villas-Boas, on the other hand, can reflect on a much-needed win which puts his team back in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

The Portuguese must take huge credit for today’s win. His second-half substitutions, and a change to 4-3-3 in the final stages, proved to be the catalyst for the victory.

Spurs remain in fifth, but their match in hand gives them a big advantage over their bitter rivals Arsenal, who play United next Sunday while Tottenham face lowly Wigan.

With Bale back in the ranks, the Spurs faithful seemed optimistic about their chances of pulling off a much-needed victory.

The early signs were good. Amid a vibrant atmosphere in north London, the Welshman jinked past two defenders and fired a swirling shot which Joe Hart needed two attempts to gather.

 

All smiles: Nasri broke the deadlock after just five minutes at White Hart LaneAll smiles: Nasri broke the deadlock after just five minutes at White Hart Lane

 

Good finish: Samir Nasri tucks in the opening goal for Manchester City after five minutesGood finish: Samir Nasri tucks in the opening goal for Manchester City after five minutes

 

PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

TOP OF PREMClick HERE for the full Premier League table

 

The atmosphere soon turned sour though when City opened the scoring. With just over four minutes on the clock, Carlos Tevez stretched the Spurs back four and picked out James Milner, who fed Nasri and he slotted home with a cushioned volley.

A period of scrappy play followed. Kyle Walker needed treatment after a rash challenge from Nasri while Jan Vertonghen needed a change of shirt after being caught by Edin Dzeko’s flying arm in an aerial challenge.

Spurs started to come in to the game more, but they still lacked the quality to test Hart.The England stopper was only called in to action once in the first period, saving well from Kyle Walker after he collected Dempsey’s reverse pass.

Dawson and Vertonghen threw themselves in to the path of Nasri to force the Frenchman to shoot wide.

Lucky: Samir Nasri escaped punishment for this studs-up challenge on Tottenham defender Kyle Walker at White Hart LaneLucky: Samir Nasri escaped punishment for this studs-up challenge on Tottenham defender Kyle Walker at White Hart Lane

 

Ouch! Walker jumps up in agony as City player Nasri turns to continue with playOuch! Walker jumps up in agony as City player Nasri turns to continue with play

Hugo Lloris then had to be at his best to deny Dzeko and Tevez in quick succession, but Spurs then went up the other end and thought they should have had a penalty when Michael Dawson’s header struck Gareth Barry’s arm, but referee Lee Mason waved play on.

Dempsey had a golden opportunity to equalise just before the break but he headed over from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto was lucky to stay on the pitch after a mis-timed rash challenge on Pablo Zabaleta that saw him receive a yellow.

Tottenham – Remaining Fixtures

April 27 – Wigan Athletic (A)
May 4 – Southampton (H)
May 8 – Chelsea (A)
May 12 – Stoke City (A)
May 19 – Sunderland (H)

Manchester City – Remaining Fixtures

April 27 – West Ham United (H)
May 4 – Swansea City (A)
May 7 – West Bromwich Albion (H)
May 14 – Reading (A)
May 19 – Norwich City (H)

 

Aerial duel: Pablo Zabaleta climbs high to win the ball ahead of Emmanuel AdebayorAerial duel: Pablo Zabaleta climbs high to win the ball ahead of Emmanuel Adebayor

 

Battle: Benoit Assou-Ekotto with a slide challenge on James MilnerBattle: Benoit Assou-Ekotto with a slide challenge on James Milner

 

Yaya Toure stung Lloris’ palms with a rasping drive and it took a brilliant tackle from Vertonghen to stop Tevez from racing clear.

Villas-Boas brought on Tom Huddlestone and Lewis Holtby and switched to a 4-3-3 formation with Bale at the centre of the attack.

Tottenham’s push for an equaliser looked destined for failure until the 75th minute.

City backed off Bale and he whipped a low teasing cross which Dempsey converted from close range.

Back in the game: Gareth Bale returned to the Tottenham starting line-up after his injury setbackBack in the game: Gareth Bale returned to the Tottenham starting line-up after his injury setback

 

Obstacle: Gylfi Sigurdsson proves an effective road block to City's Edin DzekoObstacle: Gylfi Sigurdsson proves an effective road block to City’s Edin Dzeko

The goal lifted Tottenham’s spirits and they threw everything at City. The tactic paid off when

Defoe, who had been on the pitch for just seven minutes, latched on to Holtby’s through-ball and curled a brilliant shot past Hart.

A carnival atmosphere broke out inside White Hart Lane and the roof nearly came off moments later when Bale killed the game off by lifting the ball over Hart after a brilliant through-ball from Huddlestone.

Aleksander Kolarov curled a free-kick over, but City knew their chance of taking anything from the game had gone and it was Spurs who were rejoicing at the final whistle.

 

Sticking the boot in: Jan Vertonghen stretched out a leg to pinch the ball of Manchester City's Pablo ZabaletaSticking the boot in: Jan Vertonghen stretched out a leg to pinch the ball of Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta

 

Tussle: Carlos Tevez sticks in a boot to protect the ball from Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen during the early stages of the game at White Hart LaneTussle: Carlos Tevez sticks in a boot to protect the ball from Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen during the early stages of the game at White Hart Lane

VIDEO: Graham Chadwick’s photo showreel from White Hart Lane

In pictures! Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Read more: naijablastz.wordpress.com

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Posted on April 21, 2013, in Sports. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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