Tottenham 3 - 1 Man City
Tottenham produced a stunning fightback against Manchester City to boost their Champions League ambitions and leave Manchester United three points away from winning the Premier League title.
City led through Samir Nasri's early strike before Spurs hit back with three goals in seven second-half minutes.
"Three goals in six minutes and 20 seconds mean it looks like 'game on' for Tottenham Hotspur and the Champions League.
"But the dramatic comeback means it is 'game over' for Manchester City and the Premier League title."
Clint Dempsey's tap-in levelled before Jermain Defoe fired past Joe Hart.
Gareth Bale, returning from injury, dinked a third as Spurs moved to within a point of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Bale's goal capped a dramatic turnaround in north London and means United will clinch their 20th top-flight crown by beating Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday.
Roberto Mancini's defending champions are 13 points adrift of their cross-city rivals with five games left to play for both sides.
Yet for the majority of the match it seemed as though City would clinch a routine win and keep their slim hopes of retaining the title alive after Nasri steered in James Milner's pullback.
Tottenham went into the match on the back of a 10-day break following their Europa League exit at Basel but they produced a lethargic display until bursting into life after Dempsey's equaliser.
Up to that point, City's assurance in possession, coupled with their willingness to drive forward on the counter-attack, served to frustrate the majority inside a subdued White Hart Lane.
The visitors spurned several chances to double their lead as Nasri poked wide from Carlos Tevez's ingenious flick and Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris stopped the Argentine striker's header with an instinctive one-handed save.
But Dempsey, clearly on-side despite the protest of the City defence, pounced at the far post to convert Bale's outside-of-the-boot cross and punish their profligacy.
Suddenly, the home crowd found their voices and the players found their belief as they upped the tempo in search of the lead.
It came four minutes later when substitute Defoe, who had only just entered the action as a replacement for the ineffective Emmanuel Adebayor, cut inside City skipper Vincent Kompany before unleashing a unstoppable angled drive past Hart.
Tottenham talisman Gareth Bale has been involved in 12 goals in his last nine Premier League appearances. The Welshman has scored nine times and provided three assists.
Spurs looked a completely different team as their energy levels rose, in contrast to a City team who started to look like they were feeling the effects, both mentally and physically, of a hectic week.
The Blues enjoyed the high of reaching the FA Cup final by beating last-four opponents Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, before grinding out a 1-0 Premier League win against Wigan on Wednesday.
Spurs talisman Bale, who has missed two games with ankle ligament damage, was almost anonymous in the opening 75 minutes before he followed up his assist for the equaliser by scoring the third.
The Welshman latched on to a piercing throughball from another Spurs substitute, Tom Huddlestone, and managed to hold off Gael Clichy to coolly clip over the head of Hart.
Victory leaves fifth-placed Tottenham one point adrift of Chelsea, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualification place, and two points behind third-placed Arsenal.
But Spurs have a game in hand on the Gunners, meaning a place in Europe's premier club competition remains in their hands as they enter the final month of the season.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas:
"It was a great game and the players did ever so well to come back into it. In the first half we didn't play with confidence, but we always had the desire to come back into the game.
"In the second half everything changed and we played with more confidence. We found more spaces and we found the back of the net, deservedly.
"Gareth [Bale] gave us the green light - he was fully prepared. Physically he's a monster and played 90 minutes, a great, great performance. Credit to him."
Live text and stats
Sunday, 21 April 2013
|Home Team||Score||Away Team||Time|
- 25 Lloris
- 05 Vertonghen
- 20 Dawson yellow card
- 28 Walker
- 32 Assou-Ekotto yellow card
- 02 Dempsey
- 08 Parker (Huddlestone 61 yellow card)
- 11 Bale
- 22 Sigurdsson (Holtby 60)
- 10 Adebayor (Defoe 71)
- 19 Dembele
- 01 Hart yellow card
- 04 Kompany
- 05 Zabaleta
- 22 Clichy (Lescott 90+1)
- 33 Nastasic
- 07 Milner (Kolarov 46 yellow card)
- 08 Nasri
- 18 Barry
- 42 Y Toure yellow card
- 10 Dzeko (Sinclair 83)
- 32 Tevez
- Tottenham 55%
- Man City 45%
Attempts on target
- Tottenham 8
- Man City 7
Attempts off target
- Tottenham 3
- Man City 4
- Tottenham 4
- Man City 5
- Tottenham 11
- Man City 10
- Final Result
- Full Time
- 90:00+2:04 Carlos Tevez challenges Kyle Walker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.
- 90:00+1:12 The referee signals the end of the game.
- 90:00+0:26 Substitution Gael Clichy leaves the field to be replaced by Joleon Lescott.
- 87:55 Carlos Tevez fouled by Michael Dawson, the ref awards a free kick. Shot comes in from Aleksandar Kolarov from the free kick.
- 86:30 Yaya Toure takes a shot.
- 86:15 Lewis Holtby gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Samir Nasri. Samir Nasri takes the direct free kick.
- 85:56 Gareth Bale concedes a free kick for a foul on Samir Nasri. Free kick taken by Samir Nasri.
- 82:41 Substitution Scott Sinclair is brought on as a substitute for Edin Dzeko.
- 81:05 Tom Huddlestone provided the assist for the goal.
- 81:05 GOAL - Gareth Bale:Tottenham 3 - 1 Man City Gareth Bale grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 3-1 Man City.
- 78:39 Assist by Lewis Holtby.
- 78:39 GOAL - Jermain Defoe:Tottenham 2 - 1 Man City Jermain Defoe gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-1 Man City.
- 76:22 Booking Joe Hart is cautioned by the ref for dissent.
- 74:43 Assist on the goal came from Gareth Bale.
- 74:43 GOAL - Clint Dempsey:Tottenham 1 - 1 Man City Clint Dempsey finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-1 Man City.
- 74:08 Booking Aleksandar Kolarov is booked.
- 72:37 Lewis Holtby gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yaya Toure. Aleksandar Kolarov crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, save by Hugo Lloris.
- 72:12 Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
- Correction - 70:04 Substitution Jermain Defoe joins the action as a substitute, replacing Emmanuel Adebayor.
- 70:04 Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
- 70:04 Substitution Jermain Defoe is brought on as a substitute for Emmanuel Adebayor.
- 70:04 Aleksandar Kolarov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Huddlestone.
- 68:51 Unfair challenge on Yaya Toure by Mousa Dembele results in a free kick. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
- 67:11 Corner taken by Lewis Holtby from the left by-line, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Gareth Bale goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 67:02 The ball is delivered by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Samir Nasri manages to make a clearance.
- 65:29 Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
- 65:29 Booking Tom Huddlestone goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
- 65:17 Tom Huddlestone challenges Yaya Toure unfairly and gives away a free kick.
- 64:11 Aleksandar Kolarov fouled by Mousa Dembele, the ref awards a free kick. Gael Clichy takes the free kick.
- 63:27 Carlos Tevez has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.
- 62:05 The official flags Gareth Bale offside. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
- 61:23 A cross is delivered by Lewis Holtby, Vincent Kompany makes a clearance.
- 60:47 Yaya Toure takes a shot. Save by Hugo Lloris.
- 60:14 Substitution Tom Huddlestone is brought on as a substitute for Scott Parker.
- 59:43 Substitution Lewis Holtby is brought on as a substitute for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
- 57:25 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker by Gael Clichy. Gareth Bale has an effort direct from the free kick.
- 55:25 Emmanuel Adebayor crosses the ball, Gareth Barry manages to make a clearance.
- 50:06 Handball decision goes against Clint Dempsey. Free kick taken by Yaya Toure.
- 49:27 The referee penalises Emmanuel Adebayor for handball. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
- 48:16 The referee blows for offside against Samir Nasri. Indirect free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
- 47:18 Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
- 47:18 Booking Benoit Assou-Ekotto receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
- 47:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Benoit Assou-Ekotto on Pablo Zabaleta.
- 46:52 Gylfi Sigurdsson delivers the ball, clearance made by Gareth Barry.
- 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
- 45:01 Substitution Aleksandar Kolarov is brought on as a substitute for James Milner.
- Half Time
- 45:00+2:12 The ref blows to end the first period.
- 45:00+1:17 Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gylfi Sigurdsson. Free kick taken by Mousa Dembele.
- 43:17 Corner taken right-footed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
- 42:23 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry from the right by-line, Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Hugo Lloris.
- 42:11 Gareth Barry takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Jan Vertonghen.
- 41:55 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Parker.
- 41:39 Corner taken by Gareth Barry from the right by-line, Scott Parker makes a clearance.
- 39:11 Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Hugo Lloris.
- 38:34 Jan Vertonghen is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
- 37:45 Outswinging corner taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.
- Correction - 36:29 Scott Parker fouled by Pablo Zabaleta, the ref awards a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Gareth Bale from the free kick, blocked by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
- 36:29 Foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Scott Parker, free kick awarded. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Gareth Bale, blocked by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
- 34:49 Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Clint Dempsey results in a free kick. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
- 33:59 Gareth Barry concedes a free kick for a foul on Clint Dempsey. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Kyle Walker from right channel, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.
- 32:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Barry on Scott Parker. Gareth Bale restarts play with the free kick.
- 32:01 Benoit Assou-Ekotto crosses the ball, clearance by Vincent Kompany.
- 30:30 Gareth Barry takes a short corner.
- 27:57 Gareth Barry challenges Clint Dempsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kyle Walker takes the direct free kick.
- 27:16 Effort from deep inside the area by Samir Nasri misses to the left of the target.
- 26:20 Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Barry from the right by-line, clearance made by Clint Dempsey.
- 26:01 Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Jan Vertonghen gets a block in.
- 21:30 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Gylfi Sigurdsson played to the near post, clearance made by Gareth Barry.
- 21:02 Kyle Walker takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
- 20:38 Kyle Walker sends in a cross, clearance made by Pablo Zabaleta.
- 19:45 Foul by James Milner on Benoit Assou-Ekotto, free kick awarded. Benoit Assou-Ekotto restarts play with the free kick.
- 18:19 James Milner fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
- 18:19 Booking Michael Dawson goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
- 18:09 Michael Dawson challenges Edin Dzeko unfairly and gives away a free kick.
- 16:23 Scott Parker takes a shot. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.
- 13:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Milner by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Yaya Toure restarts play with the free kick.
- 11:08 Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
- 11:08 Booking Yaya Toure booked.
- 10:53 Gareth Barry challenges Scott Parker unfairly and gives away a free kick.
- 10:37 The ball is crossed by James Milner, clearance made by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
- 5:53 Gareth Barry is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Hugo Lloris takes the free kick.
- 4:28 Assist by James Milner.
- 4:28 GOAL - Samir Nasri:Tottenham 0 - 1 Man City A goal is scored by Samir Nasri from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Tottenham 0-1 Man City.
- 3:10 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
- 0:00 The referee starts the match.
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