Crouch (og 30mins)
- Matchday centre
- Match reports
- 10 May 2011 21:58
- Posted by Chris Bailey
So it is goodbye to agony and hello and a big warm welcome to ecstasy.
More than forty years after the club’s last outing in Europe’s premier club competition the Blues are back.
In an ironic twist of fate City’s place in the top four was secured by Peter Crouch who put through his own goal, the ball finding the same netting that captured his winning effort for Spurs last season.
It was sweet pay-back for Blues fans who saw Spurs celebrate their own ascent into the Champions League ranks thanks to the lanky England man at CoMs a year ago.
Like last time there was always doubt where the joy would sit at the end of the night even though Spurs arrived six points behind City and with their wily and successful manager Harry Redknapp seemingly in full on deflection mode ahead of the contest.
Riddled with injuries but their pride on show Spurs made City work and sweat for the victory that locked away the main objective of the season
The defender was in good company for sat alongside him was leading scorer and captain Carlos Tevez hoping for a few minutes to prove his readiness for the FA Cup final.
This was a night when team and fans were in perfect sync. A symposium of like minds straining sinew and vocal chords with one simple aim – collect the three points that would secure fourth spot and put pressure on Arsenal for third!
With Nigel DeJong in thou shalt not pass mood and David Silva an elusive, livewire on the flanks and in open spaces, Tottenham were always tested. It was an impressive return, too, for the aforementioned Richards.
Edin Dzeko missed a golden chance to calm nerves in the 11th minute when his finishing failed to match his approach play.
He cushioned Joleon Lescott’s long clearance into the path of David Silva but when the return pass came the Bosnian shot straight at Carlo Cudicini.
It was debateable which was worse that or the miss by Luka Modric in the 27th minute. The Spurs man bending his shot wide of a gaping target.
Crouch’s own goal three minutes later only served to put an exclamation mark behind the Croatian’s error
It came after a short corner and a low driven cross to the near post by James Milner.
Spurs were bright after the break and Joe Hart was at his best to paw away sub Steven Pienaar’s header. Hart was in superlative form at White Hart Lane in the season opener and Tottenham must be fed up with him.
A stray Crouch arm did for Pablo Zabaleta and he left the pitch with a splattered nose as the pressure built on a home side that for the second time in four days running was on the end of a post-break revival.
Spurs though couldn’t create anything more than half chances and the best opening of the lot came in the dying moments when Tevez - on for Silva – slipped another replacement, Patrick Vieira, into the box. His chip looked to have sealed matters but William Gallas popped up from nowhere to clear off the line.
Buoyed by the crowd, City held on well and celebrated in style and Hart equalled Nick Weaver’s record number of clean sheets into the bargain.
Now fingers crossed for the quick win double at Wembley on Saturday and the biggest Poznan ever seen!
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