Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur  0 - 1

Report

City started well but Spurs survived the early onslaught and looked more dangerous going forward.

Crouch created the first chance foe the visitors by nodding against the post before Ledley King's header was ruled out for a foul.

Pressure from the home side inevitably grew but Heurelho Gomes was upto the task and saved well from Adam Johnson.

Minutes later he would prevent a Gareth Bale own goal but Spurs then took control.

And Crouch sealed a deserved win by converting Younes Kaboul's cross. Kaboul's cross clipped off Wayne Bridge, catching Marton Fulop unawares and the reserve keeper could only palm the ball at Crouch, who managed to react in time to head it over the goal line.

Article

Happy Harry: We deserve fourth spot

6 May 2010 01:00

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp believes the team fully deserve to win a place in the Champions League next season. Following the 1-0 victory against Manchester City which has awarded Spurs with European football next season, the English tactician remarked that it was a "good night".

Redknapp reserved some special praise for striker Peter Crouch, whose header eight minutes from time gave Spurs the upper hand against their top-four rivals.

After the game, a delighted Redknapp said: "It's fantastic. It's been a terrific season for us, we've played some great football along the way and we deserve it.

"It was a good night, we played some good stuff and I could see the goal coming.

"Crouchy was fantastic, led the line, unbelievable.

"It was a good performance."

Article

Mancini: I am staying

6 May 2010 00:54

(GSM) - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists he will be staying at Eastlands despite failing to qualify for the Champions League. The Italian manager is confident he will be staying as manager at the City of Manchester next season.

Despite City's defeat to Tottenham, a result which lets City surrender their Champions League hopes to a proud Spurs side, a disappointed Mancini remains adamant that City have done a "good job".

Asked whether he was confident about remaining manager, Mancini said: "Yes I'm confident. I don't know but I think I stay here. Why not?

"I work here four or five months and I think when you build a house you don't start from the roof but the basement. We work very well but we are near the roof.

"I am not a magician, I don't have a magic wand. We wanted this (fourth) place and we tried like Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa.

"When you don't finish fourth this is football but we did a good job."

Article

Spurs boss Redknapp plans to take Europe by storm

5 May 2010 23:10

MANCHESTER, England (AFP) - Harry Redknapp vowed Tottenham will take the Champions League by storm next season after his side secured their place in Europe's elite club competition for the first time since the 1960s.

Tottenham's 1-0 victory over fifth-placed Manchester City at Eastlands on Wednesday was enough to guarantee them fourth spot in the Premier League at least.

The north London club can still leap-frog Arsenal in third place on Sunday if they win at Burnley and the Gunners lose at home to Fulham.

But even if they have to go through a qualifying round to reach the group stages, Redknapp insists he will adopt an attacking attitude to the Champions League.

It is a remarkable achievement for Redknapp, who has dragged Tottenham out of the relegation zone and transformed them into one of the strongest sides in the top flight since taking charge.

Redknapp, who will sit down with chairman Daniel Levy later this month to discuss his list of close-season transfer targets, was keen not to over-celebrate his team's success, but he admitted it was an impressive effort by everyone at the club.

He said: "We'll have a go. Be positive. Like Manchester United with the wingers. That's the way I like to play football.

"I'm not playing it down, because I'm pleased. The players have done fantastic, I thought the two centre backs were outstanding and Peter Crouch led line really well.

"It was a good all-round performance. I just wanted to finish fourth. I thought it would be a great achievement.

"The chairman has asked me who Arsenal have got on Sunday. They've got Fulham. I doubt we'll get into third but we've made fourth and anything above that will be a bonus."

Everton are the only club from outside the traditional English 'big-four' of United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to have made it into the Champions League in its current format.

They perished in the qualifying stages and Redknapp knows it is vital that Tottenham, who last played in the European Cup in 1961-62, avoid a similiar fate.

"It was important someone got in from outside the big four. I could only see Manchester City breaking into the top four. I couldn't see who was going to drop out and it was going to be a touch job getting in there," he said.

"But over 38 games, to be where we are, says an awful lot for us, doesn't it. It's great to win the FA Cup (with Portsmouth) but this is over the whole season.

"I told the players to do this and show they could do it away from home and show people what we were made of.

"We have fought our way through. We were in a relegation battle and it took us some time to get out of it, so to be where we are now is great.

"I haven't thought about next year or bringing new players in. I just wanted to achieve what we have done."

After seeing his close-range header brilliantly saved by City goalkeeper Marton Fulop, Crouch made amends by nodding home in the 82nd minute when Fulop could only push Younes Kaboul's cross into his path.

It was no more than Spurs deserved for a dominant display, but City were disappointing and doubts now remain about Roberto Mancini's long-term future as manager.

The Italian is convinced he will be allowed to remain and mount another challenge, but the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners may think differently after their multi-million pound investment in the squad failed to reap the reward they wanted.

Mancini said: "I'm disappointed. We've been very unlucky in some games, but we must be proud because we've had a good season.

"We've done a good job but we can improve next season. I'm confident I will still be here.

"I think I will stay here. I've worked for five months and I think next season we can have a successful season. I'm not a magician. We have tried and worked very well. This is football."

Article

Man City call lawyers over Redknapp bully charges

5 May 2010 14:05

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City have consulted their lawyers after being accused by Harry Redknapp of using their financial muscle to intimidate rival clubs in the transfer market.

Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, claims he was forced to drop a January 2009 attempt to sign Craig Bellamy from West Ham after City made it clear they would sabotage his bid for Wilson Palacios if he did not give way in the battle to secure the striker's services.

"They came in and said: 'If you don't drop out of Bellamy, we're going to sign Palacios," Redknapp said. "We're interested in Palacios. But if you pull out of Bellamy, we'll pull out of Palacios and then we both get a player.'

"So we had no choice really. They just said 'We'll blow you out of the water'. They've got the backing, they've got the clout to do that, they can do it if they want somebody."

City made no public response to Redknapp's comments but were understood to be taking legal advice on whether they could be deemed to be unfairly defamatory.

The spat raised the stakes a notch higher for Wednesday evening's meeting of the two clubs at Eastlands which could decide which of them secures a coveted place in the top four of the Premier League and a ticket to next season's Champions League.

Tottenham go into the match one point ahead of City, knowing a win would guarantee them a top four finish before Sunday's final round of matches.

Redknapp however has insisted that this season will be regarded as a success whatever the outcome.

"If we can get in the Champions League next year, it would be great for us," he said. "But if I start thinking about 'Oh I am going to make it' and then you don't make it, you will commit suicide in this game.

"You can't get ahead of yourself. I can't get too up before it happens. Or too low if it does not happen. We have a tough game and need to try and get a result there.

"No one is walking around here thinking 'Cor, we can get in the Champions League' - it has never been mentioned. I have not even spoken to the players about it. We will look at some video of Man City and do our best to win the game."

Article

City will win the title in three years - Redknapp

5 May 2010 11:11

(GSM) - Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Manchester City will win the Premier League in the next three years.

Spurs need to avoid defeat at City tonight to maintain their Champions League hopes.

"If you'd asked me for a top five, I'd have put Liverpool in it for sure - I thought they could win it this year after finishing second - and I thought Man City could beat anyone," said Redknapp.

"I thought they could even be champions this season.

"Everybody in football knows it's only a matter of time before they win the title. I think they'll win it in the next three or four years. They're a powerful outfit with the owners they've got.

"With the players people tell me they're trying to bring in over the summer, they're going to put a team together to win the championship. They probably will do. If you bring enough world-class players, you're going to have a chance."

Article

Kaka predicts bright future for City

5 May 2010 10:53

(GSM) - Former Manchester City target Kaka believes a top-four finish will herald a new era at the Eastlands.

Kaka turned down an lucrative City offer 18 months ago before opting to leave Milan for Real Madrid last summer.

Despite his rejection, the Brazil international can still see a huge future at City, who face Tottenham on Wednesday night in a match that will almost certainly decide which one of the two clubs claim the final Champions League spot next season.

Kaka admits that if the Sky Blues can beat the Spurs to fourth spot, then the possibilities are almost endless.

"The match between City and Spurs is so much more important than three points," he told the Daily Express.

"If City win it they can start their journey to becoming a super club.

"I have said that you couldn't buy history but if City start qualifying for the Champions League, they can start creating their own history. And with the resources they have, they can create a super team very quickly.

"In World Cup year players' price-tags will always go rapidly up if they have a good tournament and City will probably be one of only a few teams in the world who will be able to afford the crazy prices.

"If they beat Tottenham and ultimately get Champions League football then we can expect some of the world's best to move to them in the summer."

Article

Spurs seek fourth place finish with win over Man City

5 May 2010 10:30

MANCHESTER, England (AFP) - Harry Redknapp is urging Tottenham Hotspur to put the English Premier League's top three on notice that their monopoly is over with victory over Manchester City at Eastlands on Wednesday.

He wants his charges to prove his theory that the stranglehold on Champions League places and the battle for the title is no longer the right of just Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

A win for Tottenham would secure them a fourth place finish at the expense of Roberto Mancini's men and a place in next season's Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

But Redknapp is looking beyond the chances of joining European club football's elite and is convinced Tottenham have now closed the gap on the so-called "big three" at the top when it comes to challenging for major honours.

Redknapp, who is hoping goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (groin) and centre-half Ledley King (knee) will be passed fit to play, says Tottenham will continue to go about their quest quietly.

"We've got closer to Arsenal this year, the points tell you that we're not a million miles away," the Londoner said.

"Last week Arsene Wenger was saying they had to make sure they hung onto third place because it was getting close. We've closed the gap on all the top teams, I think. But we still have a way to go. We won't get too carried away.

"This lot are the quietest lot of lads you've ever seen. It takes a lot to get them excited. They are very laid back and quiet. You've never met a quieter bunch. They're not going to be getting too excited about it all.

"It's the way they are. The days of having a Tony Adams have gone, they are few and far between now. Everyone would love people like that.

"If you went to Manchester City, apart from Craig Bellamy, they are all probably quiet there. It's the same everywhere."

Redknapp admits he loves to watch his own side play and is expecting them to turn on the style.

"I could watch Luka Modric play all day. I love watching him. I just think he's a pleasure to watch and that's why I do what I do. I love seeing him train, play and see what he can do," he said.

"I love watching good players and we've got some good players. Tom Huddlestone is a great passer of the ball.

"If we were a team that just kicked it up the pitch I wouldn't bother. But I enjoy the way we play. They're as good as I've seen when they move the ball about.

"We had a one-touch session and it was fantastic. They zipped the ball about, and you have to be a good player to do that, you have to have awareness of where the ball will run, your touch has to be fantastic. They were brilliant.

"City have been dangerous though. They have good players. They are always going to be a threat with a forward line of Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, Bellamy and Emmanuel Adebayor.

"That is a real potent forward line, but we have good forwards too and can cause them problems, hopefully."

This could prove to be Mancini's moment of destiny. The former Inter Milan boss was drafted in to replace Mark Hughes and handed instructions to lead City into the Champions League.

But despite keeping his side in the hunt for fourth place, Mancini's long term future is far from secure and should he fail then further question marks will be raised.

The significance is not lost on the Italian, who is confident his players can get the win they so badly want and has urged home supporters to play their part to the full.

"We need our fans to be the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth man," he said.

"Our supporters have been fantastic and we need them to get behind the team from the first minute to the last.

"This is like a cup final for us. We wanted one and now we've got one. We have good confidence after beating Aston Villa and now we must focus and concentrate on getting the same result against Tottenham. They are a good side and it should be an exciting game."

Article

Redknapp spurs on Tottenham to make breakthrough

5 May 2010 03:55

MANCHESTER, England (AFP) - Harry Redknapp is urging Tottenham Hotspur to put the English Premier League's top three on notice that their monopoly is over with victory over Manchester City at Eastlands on Wednesday.

He wants his charges to prove his theory that the stranglehold on Champions League places and the battle for the title is no longer the right of just Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

A win for Tottenham would secure them a fourth place finish at the expense of Roberto Mancini's men and a place in next season's Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

But Redknapp is looking beyond the chances of joining European club football's elite and is convinced Tottenham have now closed the gap on the so-called "big three" at the top when it comes to challenging for major honours.

Redknapp, who is hoping goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (groin) and centre-half Ledley King (knee) will be passed fit to play, says Tottenham will continue to go about their quest quietly.

"We've got closer to Arsenal this year, the points tell you that we're not a million miles away," the Londoner said.

"Last week Arsene Wenger was saying they had to make sure they hung onto third place because it was getting close. We've closed the gap on all the top teams, I think. But we still have a way to go. We won't get too carried away.

"This lot are the quietest lot of lads you've ever seen. It takes a lot to get them excited. They are very laid back and quiet. You've never met a quieter bunch. They're not going to be getting too excited about it all.

"It's the way they are. The days of having a Tony Adams have gone, they are few and far between now. Everyone would love people like that.

"If you went to Manchester City, apart from Craig Bellamy, they are all probably quiet there. It's the same everywhere."

Redknapp admits he loves to watch his own side play and is expecting them to turn on the style.

"I could watch Luka Modric play all day. I love watching him. I just think he's a pleasure to watch and that's why I do what I do. I love seeing him train, play and see what he can do," he said.

"I love watching good players and we've got some good players. Tom Huddlestone is a great passer of the ball.

"If we were a team that just kicked it up the pitch I wouldn't bother. But I enjoy the way we play. They're as good as I've seen when they move the ball about.

"We had a one-touch session and it was fantastic. They zipped the ball about, and you have to be a good player to do that, you have to have awareness of where the ball will run, your touch has to be fantastic. They were brilliant.

"City have been dangerous though. They have good players. They are always going to be a threat with a forward line of Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, Bellamy and Emmanuel Adebayor.

"That is a real potent forward line, but we have good forwards too and can cause them problems, hopefully."

This could prove to be Mancini's moment of destiny. The former Inter Milan boss was drafted in to replace Mark Hughes and handed instructions to lead City into the Champions League.

But despite keeping his side in the hunt for fourth place, Mancini's long term future is far from secure and should he fail then further question marks will be raised.

The significance is not lost on the Italian, who is confident his players can get the win they so badly want and has urged home supporters to play their part to the full.

"We need our fans to be the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth man," he said.

"Our supporters have been fantastic and we need them to get behind the team from the first minute to the last.

"This is like a cup final for us. We wanted one and now we've got one. We have good confidence after beating Aston Villa and now we must focus and concentrate on getting the same result against Tottenham. They are a good side and it should be an exciting game."

Article

Redknapp: Pressure on City

4 May 2010 16:55

(GSM) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has fired the first salvo by claiming that Manchester City will be under pressure to perform as the two sides face-off at Eastlands.

The north London side will secure the final UEFA Champions League place if they beat Roberto Mancini's men on Wednesday night.

And while Redknapp claims that no-one expects his side to qualify for Europe's premier club competition, finishing in the top four will be a big bonus for the club.

He told Sky Sports News: "We didn't go into the season expecting, we were hoping we would finish fourth.

"At the start of the year you thought that Manchester City were the only team who could break into the top four.

"You didn't really see Liverpool not being there. You saw the regular four being there and maybe City were the other club that could push into that group with the resources and money they have spent.

"So there is no real pressure on us."

Redknapp hailed his side's consistency this season, but maintained that finishing fourth would still be a bonus.

"It's great. To be involved with something at this stage of the season is a massive bonus for us," Redknapp added.

"We've been in the top group all season and it would be nice if we could finish there.

"It has the makings of a great game. There will be a good atmosphere, they are a good team, a good home team with excellent home form."

Article

Mancini wants City to make history

4 May 2010 16:45

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has challenged his players to make history in Wednesday's crucial showdown against Tottenham.

Mancini's side know victory over Spurs at Eastlands will leave them one more win away from finishing fourth in the Premier League and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.

City, who face West Ham in their final game of the season on Sunday, currently sit fifth in the table - one place and one point behind Tottenham - and Mancini wants his team to seize the opportunity to help the club enjoy an historic achievement.

"I know this is an important moment for the club," Mancini said on Tuesday.

"We have worked for this. All the players have worked for this target.

"I have worked here for five months. I can build a good future here. We are trying to change the history of the club."

Mancini's arrival at Eastlands was prompted by the decision to sack Mark Hughes for failing to keep up with City's points target to reach the Champions League.

The club's Abu Dhabi-based owners are desperate to make it into Europe's elite club competition and, even though City still have a great chance to finish fourth, there has still been speculation linking Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho with Mancini's job.

But the Italian, who knows a Tottenham win would end City's challenge, insists he is confident he will still be in Manchester next season, whatever the result on Wednesday.

"My future does not come down to this game," he said. "We have qualified for the Europa League next year, that is important. Now we have a chance to do more."

Mancini is confident his players will be able to cope with the high-stakes nature of a match which is being billed as the 50 million pounds (75.5 million dollar) play-off, such are the financial rewards for clubs competing in the Champions League.

"There is no pressure. It is a football match not a war," he said.

"If you are not happy where you work I don't think you stay. I am happy because I want to build a good team here..

"Being in the Champions League would allow us to progress. It is important for the club and everyone here.

"But we must not be nervous and I don't think the players are. They are all concentrated."

Former Inter Milan coach Mancini has plenty of respect for Tottenham and he expects a high-quality encounter between the sides.

"Tottenham are a good team," Mancini said. "They have very good players and a good manager, who is very experienced.

"They have been fantastic in the Premier League this year. Now Tottenham and ourselves must play for fourth position. It is fantastic for us and them.

"I can see how much people here want this. I would like all the people who work here to leave with a good feeling. I like this situation."

Although Joleon Lescott has been ruled out of the run-in with a hamstring injury, City could have Gareth Barry available after the midfielder missed Saturday's victory over Aston Vila with a similar problem.

Article

Vieira keen to face Spurs

3 May 2010 16:52

(GSM) - Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira is very much keen to face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday at Eastlands.

Vieira is confident his side can see off the challenge of the North Londoners, and the former Arsenal man expects to get a hostile reception from the away fans.

Patrick Vieira said, "It would be fantastic to beat them. I expect to get a bad reception from their fans but if we win the game that will be fine for me.

"It's always exciting to play against Tottenham but the focus will be on the three points.

"We are really close, we are getting there and I really believe with the help we have had from the fans we can do it against Spurs.

"The last two games can decide the whole season, so we've been working really hard and it would be a fantastic achievement for everyone at the club to play Champions League football,” City midfielder explained.

The Frenchman admits it has not been plain sailing since his move to Manchester from Inter Milan in January, but believes City are now starting to see the best of him.

"I'm quite happy with my own performance," he added.

"I feel like since I arrived at the club it has been quite a frustrating time.

"Hopefully I can keep playing like that and help the team achieve what they deserve.

"It was a great team performance against Villa, and we can be really proud. We had a difficult start but overall we controlled the game and deserved to win,” Vieira shared his opinion.

Article

Spurs boss confident over Gomes fitness

3 May 2010 15:02

(GSM) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is confident that Heurelho Gomes will be fit ahead of the Manchester City clash, but has placed Ben Alnwick on standby.

The Brazilian keeper injured his groin during Saturday's 1-0 win over Bolton and Spurs are still waiting on scan results, as they prepare for Wednesday's crucial clash at the Eastlands.

Despite City's recent permission to replace Shay Given with Marton Fulop, Redknapp has dismissed claims that he would look to bring in a new face should Gomes be ruled out.

The Tottenham manager is happy with the credentials of former Sunderland man Alnwick, while Spurs also have Jimmy Walker as another option for the midweek showdown.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +71 86
2 38 +58 85
3 38 +42 75
4 38 +26 70
5 38 +28 67
6 38 +13 64
7 38 +26 63
8 38 +11 61
9 38 -9 50
10 38 -14 50
11 38 -14 47
12 38 -7 46
13 38 -8 44
14 38 -25 39
15 38 -24 38
16 38 -42 36
17 38 -19 35
18 38 -40 30
19 38 -41 30
20 38 -32 19