Mario Balotelli again had the final say in a second half fuelled with controversy and goals as he extended his sides winning home record in the Premier League to eleven. He calmly slotted home an injury time penalty after a desperate Ledley King challenge – many onlookers, including Harry Redknapp, felt the Italian should never have been on the pitch to convert the spot kick. Just five minutes earlier following a determined block from Scott Parker on a Balotelli goal-bound strike, the Italian spiraling to find his feet after the ricochet had apparently “stamped” on the England midfielder. At the time, and after several replays I still find it inconsistent at best, but the FA have seen fit to charge him following a video review.

Talk of video replays and a retrospective ban for the player overshadowed the main headline – Manchester City, now 2/5 for the title, won again in the League to cement their rightful position at the peak of England’s top flight. Tottenham, who arguably created the better openings in the second period and could have won it with Jermaine Defoe going despairingly close near the end, did themselves no disservice and will surely take points from the majority of sides in the top half between now and May.  Spurs have a creative and dynamic midfield, and with fast-flowing attacking potency at Redknapp’s behest, along with their ever-improving backline,  you can be sure their title credentials will be respected in the remaining fixtures.

With the armory at both side’s disposal you would have envisaged a busy opening for both goalkeepers, but the first half was more like a chess match with both teams cautious and only probing gently to test the mettle of either defence.  Half chances fell for Aguero and Defoe but neither were troubling of Friedel or Hart respectively. As Howard Webb sounded his whistle for the break many were wondering, as per the two previous encounters, would a solitary goal to nil decide this cagey affair.

A great through ball from the mercurial David Silva, a player who has shown consistently magical close control and vision which is normally only praise reserved for a certain Lionel Messi, and a lightning strike from Samir Nasri put City ahead on fifty-six – and the flames ignited. With barely time to regroup, the home side doubled their advantage from a corner, a nick on from by Dzeko and Joleon Lescott bundled home. Panto villan, Stefan Savic’s backheader was appallingly short only moments later and Defoe rounded Joe Hart, and finished with aplomb. Another exquisite whipped finish from the left boot of Gareth Bale from the edge of the box two minutes later, now had the away side with the advantage – only ten minutes previously they had looked down and out. The pendulum swung back & forth before the last-gasp finale which capped off a truly mesmeric second half – Roberto Mancini’s side where able to show their staying power for the title race – following some below par performances the previous week – while the White Hart Lane team won’t be far behind.

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Comments
  1. Asher says:

    and keeps them warm and cafromtoble. The biggest advantage of wearing sheepskin boots is

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