Come Monday morning, after a restless night of anger, frustration and reflective thoughts we open our eyes and face the facts. I doubt any Spurs supporter will be thinking too much about the London encounter. We are focussed on the Manchester epic confrontation between the richest football club in the world, Manchester City, verses, Tottenham Hotspur, the self-made club that has been building year by year to become the surprising challenger for the Premiership title. Before the start of the match, Spurs were five points behind leaders Man City, and hoping to offer a reply to the first home game of the season back in August that resulted in a 5 – 1 drubbing from Man C, a game that Spurs would rather forget.
Manchester City were without the Toure brothers, both are on duty for their country in the Africa Nations Cup, whilst Kompany was serving a three match suspension. Tottenham were at full strength with Adebayor, who is on-loan to Spurs from Man City thus unable to play against his team, the only notable absentee from the regular eleven.
Both teams, for the whole first half played with caution, that’s not to say that there were no real chances, especially from the home team, but nothing to get worked up about. Spurs turned on the style, with quick exchanges and the fast movement of the ball that has re-established them as the ‘Stylish Spurs’, the neutrals’ choice to watch, but without Adebayor, they lacked a sharpness in attack.
In the second half, the game became more alive with both teams searching for chances. The referee Mr Webb on the whole did a good job, but on two occasions, when he wasn’t watching, City players, first Joleon Lescott’s swipe on Kaboul in the penalty box and later Balotelli’s stamping on the face of Scott Parker should’ve brought the red card out for a second time.
A crazy nine minutes saw Man C score twice in three minutes, the first on the hour mark, with Spurs bouncing straight back with two goals that shook the Manchester team. From that point, the Lilywhites were on top and but for a little bit of luck, could have been a goal up, had Defoe been able to reach a trademark run up the left wing and in-swinging cross by the Welsh wing wizard, Bale. Instead, 2 minutes later, King scissor tackled Mario Balotelli that resulted in a penalty that he arrogantly converted to end the match 3 – 2.
At The Emirates Stadium in London, Man United won 2 – 1 against Arsenal, thus keeping United in the race, two points adrift of the top, and still able to try to retain their Champions status.
This leaves Spurs with a mountain to climb for the Premiership title, but qualifying for the Champions’ League next season is a real possibility with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal misfiring and failing to produce results.
This morning I awoke as a Tottenham Hotspur fan, proud of all the team and what they achieved this season, so far! We weren’t rolled over by City, nor were we humiliated. We went to play football and we did it with flair and style.