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Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium (ATT 47,422) 22nd January 2012 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: H Webb

Man City Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

Man City 3

S Nasri (56)
J Lescott (59)
M Balotelli (pen 90+5)

ft

Tottenham 2

J Defoe (60)
G Bale (65)

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Live Commentary

Last Updated at 3:26 pm, January 22nd 2012

  1. What an ending to the game! Spurs were within millimetres of winning it through Defoe and it proved costly as King clearly fouled Balotelli who tucked home what could be a crucial penalty in the race for the Premier League title.

  2. 90+5

    GOAL Balotelli is coolness personified as he strokes the penaty kick into the bottom corner.

  3. 90+4

    We have that late twist as Balotelli battles with King for a hopeful punt to the edge of the box and he is fouled inside the area after the ball is allowed to bounce - referee Webb has no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

  4. 90

    We'll have a minimum of four minutes added time and Spurs almost nick it when Bale streaks clear down the left and delivers a brilliant low cross which Defoe meets at the far post, but at full stretch he puts it wide.

  5. 89

    Defoe is caught offside ... are we going to get a late twist?

  6. 88

    Milner opts for a long pass downfield but Kaboul easily beats Aguero in the air.

  7. 87

    Strong defending hy Walker sees him ease Silva off the ball and get the ball downfield.

  8. 86

    Second change for Spurs with Steven Pienaar coming on for Lennon.

  9. 85

    Another stoppage as Defoe goes down with cramp and Lescott is first to help give him treatment.

  10. 84

    Balotelli again tries an optimistic shot from the edge of the box and it loops up with Friedel able to catch it under pressure from Silva.

  11. 83

    Nasri crosses to the near post with the outside of his feet. Silva and Kaboul contest it with a free kick awarded for a high boot by the City player.

  12. 82

    Parker resumes as Spurs sportingly play the ball back to Hart.

  13. 81

    You would hope it was not deliberate and there is genuine concern by Balotelli as Parker gets treatment.

  14. 80

    Balotelli tries a shot from 20 yards that is blocked by Parker who is then caught by the striker's foot.

  15. 79

    Nasri gets in a cross that is deflected and Friedel just manages to stop it going out for a corner.

  16. 78

    Lennon tries to get on the end of a Bale pass but Hart gathers on the edge of his area.

  17. 77

    Balotelli is quick to make his mark with a caution for a foul on kaboul.

  18. 76

    Aguero tries to get on the end of a Silva pass but Friedel races off his line to clear.

  19. 75

    Who can take the initiative now? We should be in a for a great last 15 minutes.

  20. 74

    Kaboul needs treatment after a clash with Lescott, but is able to resume.

  21. 73

    Bale delivers a superb cross which Clichy heads over his own bar for a corner with Defoe ready to pounce. The corner breaks to Bale who has a shot blocked and it breaks to Lennon who beats two tackles but his shot is tame and Hart makes an easy save at his near post.

  22. 72

    Walker tries his luck from 30 yards but it's high, wide and not very handsome!

  23. 71

    Spurs keep pressing and Lennon sets up Modric whose fierce drive is just off target.

  24. 70

    Lennon breaks down the left and his low cross is cleared by savic at the near post for a corner. They play it shot but Modric's cross is charged down.

  25. 69

    Milner's clever pass releases Richards in the box but Parker makes a great tackle at the expense of a corner which Friedel safely gathers.

  26. 68

    Nasri's corner is headed clear by kaboul, but out for another flag kick. Nasri again but this time Bale gets it away.

  27. 67

    Spurs change with Jake Livermore on for Van der Vaart.

  28. 66

    City force a corner and you can't help but think there are going to be more goals.

  29. 65

    What an amazing passage of play and what a goal by Bale. He's been quiet so far, but that was sheer class.

  30. 64

    Mario Balotelli replaced Dzeko.

  31. 64

    GOAL! Lennon cuts inside Richards and pays the ball to Bale who hits it first time on the edge of the box and he bends a delightful shot into the top corner.

  32. 63

    Another City corner which Richards meet but Spurs this time get it clear with City about to make a change.

  33. 62

    It will be very interesting to see where the momentum lies now with the goals coming so quickly.

  34. 61

    Wow! We hoped the second period would be better and we're being served up a treat now!

  35. 60

    GOAL! Long ball forward by Kaboul is misjudged by Savic who can only flick it on. Defoe pounces and takes it past Hart before rolling it into an empty net.

  36. 59

    A scruffy goal but in terms of the title race, it could be priceless.

  37. 58

    GOAL! A Nasri corner is flicked on by Dzeko and Lescott bundles the ball in from close range.

  38. 57

    Spurs try to respond and Van der Vaart goes down in the box after a tussle with Lescott but no penalty.

  39. 56

    The first real moment of quality in the match brings the opening goal - great finish from the former Arsenal man but it was all down to the pass from Silva ... superb!

  40. 55

    GOAL! Silva bursts forward from the halfway line and plays a precision pass through to Nasri who blasts the ball past the advancing Friedel.

  41. 54

    Good move by Spurs sees Modrci pull the ball to Bale who slips as he is about to hit it 15 yards out and City scramble it clear.

  42. 53

    End-to-end stuff with Spurs playing a short corner and it goes to Bale on the edge of the box but his shot is blocked.

  43. 52

    Parker booked for a foul on Aguero.

  44. 51

    Spurs break through Bale, but Milner times his tackle to perfection to rob him.

  45. 50

    Barry lifts the ball over the top for Dzeko who plays it wide for the overlapping Clichy but his cross is deep and no City player is waiting.

  46. 49

    Spurs clear teh corner and break downfield with Defoe who holds it up and lays it back for Van der vaart who blasts over from 25 yards.

  47. 48

    Silva jinks his way into the box and twice you think Spurs are going to clear but the midfielder keeps going. It breaks to Dzeko whose cross is plamed clear by Friedel. Richards picks it up and his low cross is blocked by Assou-Ekotto with penalty appeals for handball waved away.

  48. 47

    Assou-Ekotto gives the ball away to Nasri but his pass intended for Aguero goes out for a goalkick as Kaboul limps back to his position.

  49. 46

    City start the second half and neither side has made a change.

  50. Sky Bet now have City as strong 11/10 favourites, with the draw 6/4 and Spurs pushed out to 7/2.

  51. 45

    Referee Webb blows for half-time without adding any time. A cagey 45 minutes lacking in clear chances, although the better ones have fallen the way of City. It looks as though both sides are more scared of losing than trying to grab the game by the scuff of the neck and winning it. We can only hope that changes when the second half gets going.

  52. 44

    Gareth Barry tries to slide the ball through to Nasri, but Kaboul hammers the ball to safety.

  53. 43

    Strong challenge by Parker on Richards sends the City defender to the floor, but no free kick to the disgust of the home fans.

  54. 42

    It perhaps sums up tis first-half, full of promise but, as yet, no end product.

  55. 41

    Great work by Nasri sees him glide past two would-be tacklers and play the ball to Dzeko. It looks as though he will lose the ball but sghows great strength to hold off two defenders but after a neat spin he blazes the bal over.

  56. 40

    Silva looks as though is blocked by Walker on the edge of the Spurs box, but Webb waves play on.

  57. 39

    Defeoe loses the ball and City break quickly, but Dzeko's ball to the overlapping Clichy is too strong and Spurs clear for a corner.

  58. 38

    Scrappy period of play with referee Webb awarding several free kicks that appeared soft at best and are not helping the flow of the game.

  59. 37

    Richards attempts another barn-storming run down the right, but this time Assou-Ekotto has his measure and takes the ball off him.

  60. 36

    Bit of anxiety among the home fans as Spurs force them to pass back to keeper Joe Hart. Too early for that reaction - patience will be the key today.

  61. 35

    Spurs free kick 30 yards out but Kaboul's blast is high and wide.

  62. 34

    Bale cuts inside and runs at the City defence before he is bodychecked by Lescott.

  63. 33

    City go downfield and Milner tries to play in Dzeko down the right, but it's a poor pass and goes out for a goalkick.

  64. 32

    Modric is fouled and Spurs have a free-kick which falls to van der Vaart on the edge of the box and twice he has shots blocked.

  65. 31

    Some possession for Spurs after being under the cosh for a spell.

  66. 30

    City's resulting corner is again poor and cleared at the near post.

  67. 29

    Great work from Micah Richards sees win the ball off Bale and then play in Aguero, but his shot from 12 yards is saved by the knees of Friedel.

  68. 28

    Clichy has space to get in a cross but it's aimed into the near post and too close to Friedel who gathers under no pressure.

  69. 27

    City on top in the last few minutes, but the game is still full of mistakes with nerves obviously playing a part.

  70. 26

    Silva tries to play in Dzeko but Friedel dashes off his line to gather.

  71. 25

    Best move of the match so far and showed how good City are on the counter.

  72. 24

    Van der Vaart gives away a free kick inside the City half. It is taken quickly by Nasri who releases Aguero and he twists past Younes Kaboul before laying it off to Silva whose low, angled shot goes just wide of the far post.

  73. 23

    Walker tussles for the ball in the City area with Clichy and pushes him over to concede a free-kick. He protests his innocence for some strange reason.

  74. 22

    James Milner fizzes out a long pass down the City right, but Dzeko is caught offside.

  75. 21

    Little to choose between the two sides so far and it's developing into an absorbing contest.

  76. 20

    Bale gets in a cross and it is half-cleared to Parker some 20 yards out but he scuffs a low effort well wide.

  77. 19

    Spurs corner played shot by Van der Vaart to Modric, before Nasri gets in a block and it's a throw.

  78. 18

    Good chance for that City with Aguero no more than six yards out and certainly Friedel looked relieved to see it go wide.

  79. 17

    Silva gets to the by-line and pulls the ball back to the near post where Aguero shoots but it deflects off Dzeko and goes wide as the two strikers get in each others way.

  80. 16

    Just signs in the last few minutes that the game is starting to open up.

  81. 15

    Silva finds space and runs forward before slipping in Nasri. He plays it wide to Aguero but his cross is blocked.

  82. 14

    Bale gets time and space down the left and his low cross flashes across the face of the City goal, with Defoe just inches from getting a decisive touch.

  83. 13

    Silva's kick is woeful and hits Luka Modric at the near post who has no trouble in clearing.

  84. 12

    Positive run by Sergio Aguero sees his drive from the edge of the box deflect off Ledley King for a corner.

  85. 11

    No chances as yet and, as many expected, it's a closely fought encounter.

  86. 10

    Good run by van der Vaart across the City box before he plays it wide to Assou-Ekotto but his low cross is blocked.

  87. 9

    Clichy tries to stop Walker taking a quick throw by jumping in front of him and handling it - reckless!

  88. 8

    City go forward and it's another patient build up until Scott Parker wins the ball off Silva.

  89. 7

    A decent position but Rafael Van der Vaart plays it short to Aaron Lennon and City win it back.

  90. 6

    Gael Clichy body checks Kyle Walker and Spurs have a free kick close to the corner flag.

  91. 5

    Both sides have enjoyed spells of possession in the early stages before Gareth Bale makes his first run, but Savic again comes across to win the ball.

  92. 4

    Benoit Assou-Ekotto plays the ball up the left for Jermain Defoe, but Stefan Savic gets across to intercept and clears the ball downfield.

  93. 3

    David Silva makes a darting run and lays the ball out to Samir Nasri, but it goes out for a goalkick.

  94. 2

    City throw-in and they pass it across the back four. Patient build-up here with Spurs showing plenty of energy to try and close them down.

  95. 1

    Spurs keeper Brad Friedel gets a couple of early touches as City go on the front foot in the early stages.

  96. Sky Bet have City 5/6, the draw 13/5 and Spurs 16/5.

  97. The teams are in and are as follows - Man City: Hart, Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Kolarov, Onuoha, De Jong, Balotelli. Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Dawson, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pienaar. Referee: Howard Webb (Sth Yorkshire)

  98. Tottenham skipper Ledley King makes a surprise return to Harry Redknapp's starting line-up for this afternoon's eagerly-anticipated visit to Premier League leaders Manchester City. King has been missing for four weeks with a hamstring injury so his presence is a major boost for Spurs, who have Jermain Defoe in attack in place of Emmanuel Adebayor, who cannot play against his parent club. The return of Micah Richards at full-back is the only City change from Monday's win at Wigan and Roberto Mancini's men had the added advantage of knowing they would open up an eight-point lead on today's opponents with a win.

  99. Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of Manchester City's Premier League clash with Tottenham. It's not often Arsenal v Manchester United has to take a backseat, but no doubt the clash at the Etihad commands centre stage today with first taking on third. Victory for Spurs will take them to within two points of City at the top, while there is no doubt Harry Redknapp's in-form side would love to avenge that 5-1 defeat suffered at White Hart Lane against City back in August. The team news and line-ups should be to hand shortly and as always we welcome your opinions so send them to simon.crawford@bskyb.com and I'll publish the best ones.

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 26 60
2 Manchester City 26 55
3 Arsenal 26 48
4 Manchester United 26 47
5 Southampton 26 46
6 Liverpool 26 45
7 Tottenham Hotspur 26 44
8 West Ham United 26 39
9 Swansea City 26 37
10 Stoke City 26 36
11 Newcastle United 26 32
12 Everton 26 28
13 Crystal Palace 26 27
14 West Bromwich Albion 26 27
15 Hull City 26 26
16 Sunderland 26 25
17 Queens Park Rangers 26 22
18 Burnley 26 22
19 Aston Villa 26 22
20 Leicester City 26 18