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Match report:<br> Spurs 2, City 1

Posted on 19 March 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Robbie Keane did it again off the bench to secure three valuable points against Manchester City on Saturday.

The Irish star was there when it mattered to tap home the winner just five minutes from time - the fourth time he's come off the bench to score in Barclays Premiership matches at the Lane.

This was the most important of the lot though - not least with Charlton suffering a surprise 4-1 defeat at home to West Brom and Newcastle being held at Portsmouth.

In a scrappy encounter, it looked for long periods that we would have to settle for a point after Claudio Reyna levelled Jermain Defoe's opener in the first half.

But that all changed five minutes from time. Fredi Kanoute, also on as substitute, burst past Musampa and Jordan on the right before squaring to Simon Davies. His shot was deflected and took James out of the frame and there was Keane, following in, to finish the job.

We made six changes from Wednesday night's defeat at Charlton with Kelly, Atouba, Naybet, Davies, Mido and Defoe all in for Pamarot, Edman, Gardner, Ziegler, Kanoute and Keane. Sean Davis on the bench with Gardner, Kanoute and Keane.

The first half wasn't the best as City's five-man midfield restricted the space for the likes of Davies and Reid.

Although the game was still played at a good tempo it took 10 minutes for the first action of note. That came from an unlikely source as Atouba's poor throw gave Robinson a few problems and Sibierski eventually got a shot in that King cleared.

Our best moments came around the 15-20 minute mark and led to a goal. Reid was heavily involved, first crossing superbly for Defoe at the far post and the striker typically worked room to shoot, James up to the task of saving low to his right.

A minute later and we were 1-0 up. Reid was again the instigator, this time there to win a 50-50 when Onuoha lost control and whip in a low cross that Defoe completely missed in front of goal. It wasn't over though as Davies, following in the play at the far post, miscued his shot back across goal - right into the path of Defoe, who stooped to header home.

The game got a little scrappy again after that as City worked their way back into it, Barton forcing Robinson to save with his legs and then playing his part in the equaliser just before the break.

Onuoha started it with a break down City's right, Barton took over and rolled into Fowler on the edge of the area and the striker flicked up a clever pass for Reyna to half-volley past Robinson from 12 yards.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first - periods of scrappy play and moments of excitement.

A couple of half-chances came and went as the final ball just went astray or control let a player down just when it mattered and the first save of the half went to James, a fine tip over to divert Reid's curler from 22 yards.

Brown's shot took a wicked deflection that forced James to save at the second attempt after 73 minutes but there was then a Charlton-like frustrating spell when little happened until Robinson gathered Fowler's tricky, dipping free-kick on the bounce.

Only five minutes remained when Keane unlocked the door. The goal owed a lot to his fellow substitute Kanoute, who darted past Musampa and Jordan before picking out Davies in the box, his shot was deflected past James and Keane was there to tap home from close range.

City's late flurry - as you'd expect - saw Robinson tip over spectacularly from Musampa and Mills volley wide but we held on for the points.

GUIDE TO THE ACTION

10mins: Poor throw back from Atouba to Robinson, bouncing, onto his left foot that Robinson sliced up into the air, managed to then win header against Fowler but Sibierski onto loose ball and shot cleared by King.

14mins: Reid cross found its way to Defoe at far post, worked a yard against Jordan and hit low shot from 15 yards that James got down well to.

15mins: GOAL. Reid won tackle against Onuora, low cross from left missed by Defoe in front of goal, half-cleared to Davies whose miscued shot was headed home by the ever-alert Defoe at far post.
Spurs 1, City 0

27mins: Dunne spotted Reyna in space on right flank, Fowler climbed high to meet cross and only inches away.

30mins: Long ball to Fowler caused minor panic, King and Fowler both appeared to handle, Robinson darted out to claim as Barton rushed in.

34mins: Brown block took all the pace off Sibierski volley straight at Robinson.

35mins: SAVE. Barton dribbled past Reid and Brown, into box, left-foot shot from 16 yards blocked by Robinson's legs.

37mins: Mido won key header against Distin, rolled it square to Brown who hit 20-yarder well but straight at James.

41mins: Brown penalised for foul on Barton, dangerous area for free-kick, 20 yards out, Barton blasted it but Brown dived in for superb block.

43mins: GOAL. Onuoha burst forward, Barton squared to Fowler who dinked clever ball to Reyna, he smashed home half-volley from 12 yards.
Spurs 1, City 1

Half-time: Spurs 1, City 1

50mins: Decent City move, Sibierski slid pass in for Reyna but Robinson out smartly to gather.

51mins: Davies spotted Kelly's run down right, perfect pass, ball ran away from Kelly as he controlled with his chest but James lost it, no-one there to snap up loose ball.

58mins: Mido inches away from Reid's corner, Davies onto loose ball, drove ball in but City cleared.

62mins: Robinson important touch to take Barton's deep free-kick away from Distin.

63mins: Musampa got better of Kelly in chase for long ball, always under pressure though and toe-poked into side netting.

64mins: SUB. Kanoute for Mido.

66mins: SAVE. Reid onto loose ball after long clearance from Robinson, time to weigh it up before unleashing left-foot shot that moved in air, James save of day so far tip over.

73mins: Brown shot deflected but ball still in James' range and took at second attempt.

75mins: Defoe inches away from Carrick's defence-splitting pass.

76mins: SUBS. Gardner for Naybet; Flood for injured Sibierski.

79mins: SUB. Keane for Reid.

81mins: Fowler's dipping free-kick could have been a problem but Robinson made low save on bounce look easy.

82mins: SUB. Mills for Onuoha.

85mins: GOAL. Kanoute break down the right and great pass inside to Davies, his shot was deflected into path of Keane to tap home with first touch.
Spurs 2, City 1

88mins: YELLOWS. Atouba and Dunne for off-the-ball clash. Fowler also booked.

89mins: SUB. Macken for Bosvelt.

89mins: YELLOW. Barton for trip on Keane.

Injury time: YELLOW. Defoe for kicking ball away.

Injury time: SAVE. Free-kick played in by Mills from right, ball not cleared and Musampa able to strike from far post, Robinson there to tip over.

Injury time: CLOSE. Barton corner cleared out to Mills who hit volley wide from 18 yards.

Full-time: Spurs 2, Manchester City 1

LINE-UPS
Spurs (4-4-2): Robinson, Kelly, Naybet (Gardner, 75), King, Atouba; Davies, Brown, Carrick, Reid (Keane, 79); Mido (Kanoute, 63), Defoe. Subs: Cerny, Davis.

Manchester City: James, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Barton, Bosvelt (Macken, 89), Reyna, Onuoha (Mills, 82), Musampa, Sibierski (Flood, 75), Fowler. Subs: Weaver, Sommeil.

REFEREE
Barry Knight

ATTENDANCE
35,861