Monday, March 17, 2008

City 2 Tottenham 1

Often, the end of a bad spell of form or run of results is courtesy of a fourtuitous incident which can turn the tide back in your favour.

Whilst there was nothing lucky about the performance or overall victory yesterday, we have to say we had the rub of the green with both our opening goal and the disallowed Tottenham 'equaliser'.

After falling behind to a smart finish from Robbie Keane (although Corluka was guilty of slack and careless defending to allow Chimbonda to play Keane in), it would have been easy to think 'here we go again' given recent results both in the league and against Tottenham in general.

We fought back well however in the second-half, looking far more spirited and perhaps sensing an impending substitution, Stephen Ireland managed to get himself in the right place at the right time to steer a pair of mis-timed attempts on goal passed the stranded Robinson - although TV replays later confirmed Ireland had strayed into an offside position.

Little over ten minutes later we took the lead with a goal that came from two surprise sources - firstly a set piece, and secondly a debut goal from Nedum Onouha - very much in the manner of the player he replaced, Micah Richards.

We may have also caught a break five minutes from time as a narrow offside decision ruled out would have been a late equalise from the visitors, but we held on to end the msierable sequence of recent results against the Carling Cup winners.

The second half in particular saw a far more lively approach and what I don't think can be understated is the effect that the returning Michael Johnson has had on the side. Whilst Gelson has deputised more than ably during his absence, Johnson's forays into opposition territory are an important cog in our attacking game and the goals per game ratio was something that dropped off during his spell on the sidelines.

In his post match interview, Sven was clearly hoping that the result would be a turning point as we head to the final stretch of the season, and it puts us right back into the mix in the race for sixth position, something which would be an excellent return and a real platform to build on for next season.

7Aston Villa30834251857327211349
8Man City30104223143561320248

If nothing else, will perhaps ease the tone of his scheduled meeting with Thaksin later on today.


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