Rewind - Ledley on City, 2010: "We were hungry, we wanted it" - watch the highlights!
19 January 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Turn the clock back to 2010 and our penultimate match of the 2009-10 season against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium was seen as one of the biggest in our history. Victory, and we were in the Champions League, avoid defeat and destiny was still in our hands but lose, and it was advantage City going into the final day...
The events of that evening on May 5, 2010 have gone down in Spurs folklore as an almost unbearably tense encounter boiled to a thrilling climax as Peter Crouch headed home one of the Club's most important and famous goals for a 1-0 victory.
Almost seven years on and the memories of that night still burn brightly for the man who gave everything for the chance to finally lead us out in the Champions League.
That man is Ledley King...
Below: Final words - Ledley gets the team ready to rumble in a huddle before kick-off
- 323 appearances for Spurs 1999-2012
- League Cup winner and captain, 2008
- Skipper at the Etihad as we qualified for the Champions League on May 5, 2010
- Now Club Ambassador
We recovered from a disapointing FA Cup semi-final loss against Portsmouth at Wembley to beat Chelsea and Arsenal in back-to-back matches at the Lane in April. Gareth Bale was emerging, Danny Rose hit his wonder volley against Arsenal as we won seven matches in eight in a crucial spell. We then lost at United, beat Bolton and went to the Etihad a point ahead of City in fourth place with two games left.
Ledley: "I remember it was a difficult month of games leading up to City - games that would define our season. As it turned out, we put together some really good results and performances against good teams and travelled to City believing we could win. We were a talented group of players, good ages, good experience and had a real togetherness. That’s what we believed would be a huge part of this game - team spirit. City had spent money and had a lot of quality players but we felt they were chopping and changing whereas we had a real togetherness and we hoped that would be the difference on the night."
Below: Peter Crouch hits the post in the first half
Ledley: "It was like a cup final. The confidence was high from our previous results and we knew it would be tough but we felt we were at the peak of our powers and could go there and upset them. We knew how big it was and I’ll go back to what I said about team spirit and togetherness. We were hungry for it, we wanted it, we knew how much it meant to our football club, our fans and as players, we wanted the opportunity to reach the Champions League. It was there in front of us."
Below: Watch it all over again - full highlights from the match
Ledley: "We took that desire into the game with us and we were better on the night. We had to ride our luck as well, Gomes made a couple of good saves in the first half, but I felt we deserved to win. Even in the first half Crouchy hit the post, Gareth went close and I had a goal disallowed, a header from a corner. We created a lot of chances in the second half as well and no-one could really argue that we deserved it in the end."
Did you think we were going to get there or it was going to be one of those nights?
Ledley: "I thought we were going to do it. When you’ve played well and not scored you can easily think it’s not going to be your day but remember, a draw wasn’t a bad result for us either. They had to push on and look for a win and that helped. We could keep it in our hands with a draw but they needed to win. When it got to the last third of the game, they had to take more risks and we were able to pick them off."
Below: That goal! Crouchy heads home the winner
Ledley: "It was just the way the game panned out that when we scored, we knew we’d won it. That’s rare. It was the way we played, the lateness of the goal, once we scored we knew we’d done it. You could see how much it meant to the players, the fans, it had a cup final feel to it, it felt like we’d won something! In a funny way, it was probably more of a reaction than when Woody scored in the League Cup Final. I just felt once we scored that goal we knew we had them. We looked comfortable and that came out in the celebrations and the final whistle."
Below: Celebration time - Ledley with high-flying Seb Bassong and Michael Dawson and Wilson Palacios
'We did it!'
Ledley: "The feeling on the final whistle was one of relief more than anything. Look, we hadn’t won anything, we hadn’t won the Premier League, but we’d accomplished something we’d been trying to do for a number of years and it was a great feeling, especially sharing it with the fans up there. That was something special."