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Spurs v City: Defining games

Team Celebrate Marios Pen

Team Celebrate Marios Pen

When City meet Spurs, sparks always seem to fly.

FA Cup drama, title race swings, Champions League chases and even a deep freeze - this fixture really has had it all over the years. With so many classic encounters to choose from, we've focused on more recent years for our tasty selection of games to get you in the mood for the latest chapter at White Hart Lane on Sunday. 

Excitement always seems to be on the menu with goals a key dish, particularly the variety scored by Sergio Aguero. Likely to be one of the first games the striker looks for when the fixtures are released each summer, the Argentine has scored more goals against Spurs than any other opponent

Here are just a few of the most memorable games between the clubs, relived in words and on video...

Comeback Kings – 2003/04

Down by three at half time, City fans feared the worst when Joey Barton saw red seconds after the half time whistle sounded at White Hart Lane in the 2004 FA Cup fourth round clash. 

Ledley King, Robbie Keane and Christian Ziege had all found the net without reply in the opening 45 minutes, while City had also been shorn of Nicolas Anelka’s attacking threat through a first half injury. 

However, the ten men gave the away fans a glimmer of hope when Sylvain Distin headed one back minutes after the restart, and Paul Bosvelt added a second midway through the second half. When Shaun Wright-Phillips found the equaliser – with a whiff of offside – on 80 minutes, the away fans were jubilant. Most inside White Hart Lane were making plans for extra time when Jon Macken popped up right at the death to complete the most memorable of comebacks and book City’s place in the fifth round.

A tale of two Crouch goals – 2009/10

A strange quirk of the Premier League fixture list meant that in two consecutive seasons City and Tottenham met in Manchester in May in search of one of the game’s most coveted prizes – a Champions League place. 

In 2010, Spurs arrived in the North West just a single point ahead of City in the battle for fourth place and the game remained locked in stalemate – although that does not tell the story of a largely entertaining, attacking affair. Eight minutes from time, Peter Crouch arrived in the box to stab the ball home and guarantee Harry Redknapp’s men their place at Europe’s top table. 

Fast forward 12 months and City welcomed the North London outfit once more looking to crack the top four and earn a first ever appearance in the Champions League. 

Once again, a single Crouch strike settled the contest – only this time he sent the ball past the despairing Carlo Cudicini from a James Milner cross for an own goal at the same end that brought him and Spurs such joy the year before. First the agony, then the ecstasy. 

Dzeko on the rampage – 2011/12

The headlines ahead of the encounter between the two clubs in August 2011 all concerned Samir Nasri, making an immediate return to North London following his transfer from Arsenal. 

However, after the 34th minute the name on supporters’ lips and journalists’ keyboards was Edin Dzeko, who netted a sensational hattrick and then fired in a fourth goal – City’s fifth of the afternoon – in stoppage time. The Bosnian tormented the hosts’ backline for the entire 90 minutes, and Brad Friedel was powerless to stop the striker scoring twice before half time, both set up by new boy Nasri. A simple finish from Dzeko ended the game as a contest after 54 minutes before Aguero reminded the crowd of his potency on the hour. 

A performance of Champions at the start of a season which would end with a first league title in 44 years.

 

Spurs pay the penalty – 2011/12

With 94 minutes showing on the clock, City and Spurs supporters held their breath as Mario Balotelli approached the penalty spot and prepared to take a kick that would help determine the fate of both clubs come the end of the 2011/12 campaign. City sat at the table’s summit when Harry Redknapp brought his Tottenham side to the Etihad Stadium in January 2012. 

Neutrals hoping for another thriller were left sorely disappointed with a first half that resembled a most cautious game of chess. However, four goals in eight second half minutes certainly proved enough to wake even the deepest of sleepers. 

Strikes from Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott left City looking comfortable, only to be pinned back by Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale. As the minutes ticked by and a point was looking a virtual certainty – enter Mario. 

The striker tumbled under Ledley King’s desperate challenge and stepped up to take the resulting spot kick himself. Super Mario made no mistake and the Etihad roared with belief and momentum restored in the most thrilling of title races.  

Navas up to speed – 2013/14

Unlucky for some, but the number 13 presents no fear for Jesus Navas

The winger wasted no time in making his mark against Spurs in November last year, taking just 13 seconds from kick off to find the net. Sergio Aguero took advantage of a poor Hugo Lloris pass, and while the keeper was able to field the Argentine’s initial attempt, Navas was running in at full speed and hit the sweetest of shots to set City on the way to a 6-0 rout. 

The Spaniard rounded off a scintillating display with his second and City’s sixth in stoppage time, bookending a performance that had the Etihad rocking. The clash heralded the start of a 20 game unbeaten run for Manuel Pellegrini’s men in all competitions.

The Last Time – 2014

If your appetite hasn’t been sufficiently whetted yet… this one should do it.

The two teams last faced off in October 2014, a match that will be named in the history books as the Sergio Aguero show.

Enjoy…

What happens on Sunday? Tweet us your predictions now and then all eyes on White Hart Lane to find out…

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