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Keano's penalty points

Robbie Keane won the battle of wills with Shay Given to keep us on target for Europe.

Robbie Keane won the battle of wills with Shay Given to keep us on target for Europe.

Skipper Robbie faced his friend and Republic of Ireland team-mate Given from the penalty spot with only five minutes remaining of Saturday's clash against Manchester City.

The teams were locked at 1-1 and with Fulham winning at Newcastle, Robbie had to score to bag the three points and keep us in with a chance of finishing seventh.

The moment brought together the Republic's skipper and record goalscorer with 38 goals in 88 caps against the most-capped keeper, Given with 94.

In the end though, it was no contest - Robbie slid the ball to his bottom right corner as Given went the other way and the three points were secured.

"Shay knows me well from the Irish set up and we practise all the time," reflected Robbie. "He knows where I go and how I take penalties but luckily for me he went the wrong way.

"I looked to see where he went first, I waited for him until the last second and managed to put it in the other corner.

"He's a fantastic goalkeeper and we know each other well but I came out on top this time."

Keano had no doubt that we deserved the win - not least after seeing Given keep us out with three fine saves before Jermain Defoe opened the scoring in the first half.

Valeri Bojinov levelled in the second half before Fraizer Campbell was bundled over in the box to hand Robbie the chance from the spot.

"We dominated, especially in the first half but they were always going to push on when they were a goal down and that was the case," he added.

"We kept plugging away, kept going, young Fraizer Campbell was a handful and he got the penalty and luckily enough we got the three points."

Keano, City