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Report: City 1-1 Spurs

English FA Cup

Gary Doherty rekindled his love affair with the FA Cup as we turned around Sunday's clash at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The big defender made his name at Spurs with an FA Cup winner at Orient before opening the scoring against Arsenal in the semi-final of the competition back in 2001.

Since then he's had to recover from a broken leg and losing his place in the squad but he's has won praise from all quarters since stepping in for the injured Dean Richards at the turn of the year.

And it was happy days again in the FA Cup for the Irishman as we made a stirring comeback in this fourth round tie.

City certainly had the best of the first half but the introduction of Stephane Dalmat and John Jackson for injured pair Mauricio Taricco and Darren Anderton at half-time triggered a shift in power.

Robbie Keane and Helder Postiga went close before Doherty headed home Postiga's corner to cancel out Nicolas Anelka's first half opener.

Doherty looped another header just over, Postiga went close, Kevin Ellgaard saved Michael Brown's free-kick - it was all us until the arrival of Jon Macken and Shaun Wright-Phillips turned the tide again.

Two more great chances followed - one at either end - and City caused a few heart-stopping moments late on, but we deserved the replay.

The first half was a different story and we failed to find any fluency and City had the best of it.

The opening exchanges were scrappy before City took the lead after 10 minutes.

It all started with a fine save from Kasey Keller to turn aside Robbie Fowler's deflected shot but we failed to clear the corner, Fowler's looping header hit the inside of the post and Anelka was there to tap in.

Fowler had a couple of chances to break clear but appeared reluctant to shoot on sight and Richard Dunne headed just wide.

Claudio Reyna was then booked for a foul on Brown as the pair had a running battle - fingers were certainly pointed (mainly by Brown) when Brown was suddenly floored.

Indeed, Brown did well to hold his composure as he was buffeted from pillar to post in that first half, hardly the ideal birthday present on his return to his former club.

Our best chance of the half came after 38 minutes. Keane's driving run took him past two defenders, Trevor Sinclair got a toe in only to divert it to Simon Davies who struck immediately from 16 yards but Ellegaard was alive to it.

City had time for two more chances, both via Sun Jihai, as Reyna got his attempted lob all wrong and Antoine Sibierski looped a header wide.

David Pleat changed it around during the break. Jackson came on for Mauricio Taricco, who had suffered a couple of knocks and Dalmat for Darren Anderton, who was struggling himself.

As reported above, the emphasis changed completely with Ellegaard saving well from Keane and Brown, Postiga going close and Doherty levelling after 56 minutes.

City's substitutes had the desired effect though as the sides traded punches in the last 20 minutes.

Sinclair and Paul Bosvelt had chances but Postiga should perhaps have nodded us in front when Keane landed the perfect cross on his head six yards out after 79 minutes.

Play switched straight up the other end and the chance of the match. Reyna threaded the ball through to Macken who beat the offside trap but chose to try and clip the ball around Keller one-on-one rather than square for Anelka to tap home.

City continued to press, Dunne headed tamely at Keller, Anelka took the ball off Sinclair's toe when he had a sight of goal and Jihai volleyed wide in the last minute.

The replay is at the Lane on Wednesday February 4.


30secs: Early effort from Sibierski no problems for Keller.

10mins: SAVE. Keller alive to slight deflection on Fowler rasper, good save low down to his left.

10mins: GOAL. From corner, ball not cleared, Fowler looping header hit inside of post, Anelka tapped home rebound.

25mins: Fowler sprung offside trap but Gardner back to nick ball off him.

29mins: Dunne headed Tarnat's inswinging free-kick a yard wide, Keller had it covered.

30mins: Fowler through again from Reyna pass but didn't see to want to shoot, delayed, Gardner and Doherty back to clear.

31mins: YELLOW. Reyna for foul on Brown - pair having running battle.

32mins: Anelka onto poor backpass from Gardner, Keller raced out of box, Anelka always getting there first but Keller did enough.

35mins: YELLOW. Anderton for foul on Reyna.

38mins: CHANCE. Keane driving run, tackled but loose ball fell to Davies, Ellegaard decent save to his left.

40mins: CHANCE. Reyna onto Jihai's chipped pass, chance to lob Keller but got it all wrong.

45mins: Sibierski onto deep Jahai cross, attempted looping header wide.

Half-time: City 1-0 Spurs

Half-time: SUBS. Dalmat and Jackson for Anderton and Taricco.

47mins: Dalmat immediate impact, deep cross to Keane, decent block by Ellegaard at near post.

53mins: YELLOW. Bosvelt for foul on Brown.

54mins: YELLOW. Carr for foul on Anelka.

55mins: CHANCE. One-two between Postiga and Keane cut City open but Postiga failed to control ball in front of goal.

56mins: GOAL. Deep, inswinging corner from Postiga nodded in at far post by Doherty. 1-1.

57mins: CLOSE. Identical corner, this time Doherty looped slightly more difficult header over.

59mins: No offside flag with Anelka 'inactive', Fowler raced clear but wide of area, Doherty cut out cross - aimed at Anelka.

62mins: Gardner cross headed over at near post by Postiga, difficult chance.

63mins: Ellegaard parried Brown free-kick, Dunne there to hack away as Doherty closed in on rebound. All over them at the moment.

69mins: SUBS. Macken and Wright-Phillips for Fowler and Sibierski.

72mins: Sinclair shrugged off Carr, dragged shot wide from 20 yards.

78mins: Bosvelt snap shot from edge of the box, comfortable save for Keller.

79mins: CHANCE. Magic from Keane, stood up perfect cross for Postiga, between defenders, but couldn't keep header down from close range.

81mins: EVEN BETTER CHANCE. Macken sprung offside trap, attempted to clip ball around Keller when square pass would have left open goal for Anelka.

83mins: Dunne onto deep Tarnat free-kick but couldn't muster power to trouble Keller.

89mins: Jihai volleyed wide after Keller punched away dangerous Wright-Phillips cross.

Full-time: City 1-1 Spurs.

Line-ups: City: Ellegaard, Distin, Reyna, Fowler (Macken, 69), Sibierski (Wright-Phillips, 69), Jihai, Tarnat, Dunne, Bosvelt, Sinclair, Anelka. Subs: Arason, McManaman, Sommeil.

Spurs: Keller, Carr, Taricco (Jackson, 45), Doherty, Gardner, Brown, Anderton (Dalmat, 45), Davies, King, Keane, Postiga. Subs: Hirschfeld, Bunjevcevic, Zamora.

Referee: Steve Dunn