BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Maine Road, England

Referee: J Winter | Attendance: 34563

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Manchester City

  • Steve Howey 29'
  • Ali Benarbia 90' +3'

2 - 3

FT

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Chris Perry 38'
  • Simon Davies 48'
  • Gustavo Poyet 84'

Man City 2-3 Spurs: Heads first

Tottenham used their heads at Maine Road tonight and stretched their unbeaten run to five matches in a 3-2 away win over Manchester City.

  • Hoddle called into swift action

    Outplayed for much of the first half and trailing to Steve Howey's opener, Spurs converted a trio of close-range headers to seal victory.

    Chris Perry levelled with his opening goal of the campaign, the excellent Simon Davies put Spurs in front from Robbie Keane's cross shortly after the break and Gus Poyet finished them off by converting Christian Ziege's corner late on.

    Ziege spoiled his own night by getting himself sent off five minutes from time and though Ali Benarbia pulled one back during stoppage time, City boss Kevin Keegan will be asking accusing questions of a defence who seemed to go missing every time Spurs launched a cross into their six-yard box.

    City were hugely superior in the first half, with Eyal Berkovic going close with a lob early on and then both Shaun Goater and Nicolas Anelka wasting excellent scoring chances.

    But City's opener soon came, although Casey Keller will be disappointed that Howey's relatively weak header was allowed to creep into the far corner from Kevin Horlock's free-kick.

    Keegan then watched in horror as City capitulated in all too predictable fashion, when Ziege saw his speculative shot deflected wide, the German trotted across and swung over a corner which exposed an alarming lack of defensive nous as Perry nodded home inside the six-yard box.

    If Keegan was thankful that one disaster had been avoided, his side were met by another immediately after the re-start as Davies capped a fine performance by putting Spurs in front after Robbie Keane had created space close to the by-line.

    Substitute Ali Benarbia had an impact again tonight but by the time he curled a stunning 20-yard effort over Keller, City were out of the game.

    The clincher came from another substitute in Poyet, who stooped to meet Ziege's corner and wrong-foot Schmeichel with a mis-timed header.

    Ziege had proved to be an inspiration for the visitors, yet he left them with an uncomfortable last five minutes with an amazing act of folly, having already been booked for kicking the ball away by referee Jeff Winter, the German proceeded to repeat the stupidity and found himself taking an early bath.

  • Tottenham boss Glenn Hoddle admitted he had been forced to react quickly after City's lightning start.

    Hoddle, who left his seat in the stands to alter his team's formation in the first half, said: 'I had to come down from my seat pretty early. They came out of the traps

    really quick and we might have found ourselves behind early.

    'We changed to a back four and went 4-4-3 and after that 20-minute period we

    grew in our game.

    It was very encouraging. We put Ledley (King) at left back - he has played

    there before - he did well. We reassessed it and I liked the way we passed

    it.'

    Hoddle had sympathy for neither Christian Ziege nor referee Jeff Winter after the German's sending-off.

    'I have got to be honest,' he told Sky Sports. 'Christian should not have done it. He did knock

    the ball away three or four yards maybe and players sometimes have got to take a

    bit of responsibility - but sometimes referees have got to show a bit of common

    sense.'

    City manager Kevin Keegan rued a lack of experience and poor defending and finishing from his side.

    'The first half-hour was dream stuff but after that we weren't clever

    enough,' said the former England chief.

    'There is no substitute for experience and that was the major difference

    tonight.

    'We still have four or five players who lack Premiership experience and

    sometimes it shows.'

    Of Spurs' three goals, Keegan said: 'To concede three headers is disappointing, we were pretty average at

    defending. Perry got the first and he is not the biggest.

    'Of the eight set-pieces that have gone into our box, they have won six of

    them and they won most at the other end.'

    The home side also reflected on a meagre one-goal return from 20 attempts at goal. 'We had a very good 30 minutes and we could have blown them away,' he added.

    Hoddle also revealed that the training ground knee injury

    sustained by Teddy Sheringham which kept him out of tonight's match was not as

    serious as first thought.

    'It was just a freak one in training and before the game we were waiting on

    scans but the team doctor got a late call and it is not as bad as we first

    thought,'' he added.

    'We are hoping he may only be out for two or three days. We feared it would

    be three weeks.'

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  • Scoring Summary

    • Manchester City
    • Tottenham Hotspur
    Steve Howey (29')
    Ali Benarbia (90 + 3')

    Match Stats

    • Manchester City
    • Tottenham Hotspur
    20(19) Shots (on goal) 9(9)
    0 Fouls 0
    0 Corner kicks 0
    0 Offsides 0
    47% Time of Possession 53%
    2 Yellow Cards 3
    0 Red Cards 1
    0 Saves 0

    Teams

    • Manchester City
    • Tottenham Hotspur
    Substitutes
    Substitutions
    Yellow Cards
    Red Cards