Postiga delivers for
to Manchester City
Anderton 9; Postiga 30; Kanouté 90 | Fowler 80 Home Page
Matt Scott for Get Your Kits Out at White Hart Lane
Thursday December 4, 2003
The pall hanging over Manchester City's season grew still darker last night. Knocked out of the Uefa Cup by the Polish unknowns Groclin Grodzisk and with their league form seemingly in stuck reverse, their best hope of silverware was lost on a frosty night.
Though Robbie Fowler ended his side's goal drought 16 minutes before it became nine hours old, City could not prevent their worst run of results since relegation in 1999 becoming a reality.
Spurs, despite a record of three defeats from four games, looked positively effervescent from the first kick. A few bright exchanges around a pedestrian City midfield was a prelude for Darren Anderton's opener. Trevor Sinclair was at fault in failing to close down the former England international, who fired past Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard in the City goal.
Anderton might have added another when he delivered a free-kick from 19 yards out that required Sylvain Distin's desperate lunge to clear off the line. Helder Postiga then drilled in a long shot that the goalkeeper spilled and City were perhaps fortunate to escape a penalty as Distin impeded Robbie Keane's follow-up.
But Postiga did not have long to wait before opening his Tottenham account. Again Sinclair made a hash of things when the ball reached him on the edge of his own area. Rather than clearing he merely teed up the Portugal striker who was so happy to score for the first time in 13 appearances that he ripped off his shirt and threw it into the crowd. He was promptly booked.
When City came, however, they did so in their droves. First Claudio Reyna cracked a low drive 25 yards from goal that the Spurs goalkeeper Kasey Keller palmed wide. Then came City's best chance to pull a goal back as Richard Dunne stroked a through-ball to Nicolas Anelka, who flicked it on to Joey Barton. The 21-year-old unleashed a powerful drive that looked to be heading for the net until Gary Doherty launched himself to deflect it over Keller's bar.
The second half was City's and they richly deserved their goal, which owed everything to Fowler's tenacity. Doherty's hacked clearance had flown vertically from his boot, Keller came to claim but was beaten to the ball by the former Liverpool forward and his brave header found the net.
It set up a thrilling finish as City piled forward for the equaliser. But the last word belonged to Spurs and the unmarked substitute Frédéric Kanouté, who latched on to Paul Konchesky's cross after Keane dummied to score a breakaway goal. City's pain goes on.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Keller; Carr, Doherty, Gardner, Taricco; Anderton, King, Poyet (Dalmat, 85), Ricketts (Konchesky, 68); Keane, Postiga (Kanouté, 77).
Manchester City (4-4-2): Stuhr-Ellegaard; Sommeil, Dunn, Distin, Tarnat (McManaman, 71); Wright-Phillips, Reyna, Barton, Sinclair; Anelka, Fowler.
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