Date: 9th November 2008 at 5:35pm
Written by:

Mark Hughes makes one change to the side that entertained FC Twente on Thursday. Jo drops to the bench as Benjani starts his first game since his spell on the sidelines. Vassell also makes his first Premier league start for City. Could we see the first 4-4-2 formation under Mark Hughes? Harry Redknapp feels the need to recall Corluka who will play against City for the first time since making his move to London.

Full team news:

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Fernandes, Vassell, Robinho, Benjani.

Subs: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Elano, Jo, Hamann, Evans, Ben-Haim.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Zokora, Jenas, Modric, Bent.

Subs: Cesar, Hutton, Lennon, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell, Dawson, O’Hara.

Spurs stared the brighter and had a half chance inside the first 5 minutes. Woodgate found himself with the ball just outside the box but his shot ballooned over the bar. Huddlestone then had his shot saved easily by Joe Hart. The first 15 minutes was virtually all Spurs possession as City looked nervous?

However it was City who took the lead on the 16th minute. A patient build up between the midfield spread to Shaun Wright-Phillips who fed the ball into the path of Vassell whose shot was parried to the feet of Robinho, and the Brazilian fired the ball home. City didn`t deserve it but they manage to take the lead.

A scrappy ten minutes passes as both teams where cancelling each other out, but it was City who produced the next best chance. Robinho fed Stephen Ireland who fired his shot at goal, but failed to beat Gomes who yet again parried. City where looking like they were just getting going. So you know what happened next?

Manchester City where reduced to ten-men when Gelson Fernandes managed to find himself booked twice within 26 minutes. The Swiss midfielder caught Bentley late and Mike Dean, without any hesitation, produced his second yellow, and Fernandes walked off the pitch with applause, but in all honesty he fully deserved to be sent off. However if you thought the performance of Fernandes would take attention away of the appalling Richard Dunne, think again!

Richard Dunne somehow managed to miss an easy 40 yard ball, and Darren Bent managed to turn Richards and fire home. I`ve had enough of Dunne`s mistakes, im sorry but he has to go. Mark Hughes then made a tactical change as Vassell was brought off for Hamann, as City look to try and hold on to at least one point.

David Bentley and Darren Bent then went close for Spurs and Dunne yet again managed to screw up inside his own box but was saved by a fellow defender who managed to clear the ball up field. Cities were booed of the pitch at halftime. Im sorry but we deserve to lose this game on the performance so far. It`s taken all my self control, to write this without swearing. It seriously is awful.

The second half started better for City and Shaun Wright-Phillips forced a corner which led to nothing but City were showing signs of getting something from this game. On the hour mark, Shaun Wright-Phillips again managed to work an opportunity. SWP flicked the ball over the head of a defender and with Robinho free, he chose to shoot and Gomes made a good save.

City then went on the attack again. Benjani forced a foul from King who was the last defender back for spurs but Mike Dean only managed to produce a yellow. The free kick was taken my Garrido and Dunne who managed can just about still header a ball, managed to force another good save from Gomes.

However when your down to ten-men its never going to be easy. Jenas laid the ball to the edge of the box and Bent was their again to fire the ball home with a little help from the post. A better second half performance but City was punished on the counter.

Joe Hart kept the score at 2-1 when he got down low to deny Huddlestone a goal but it was City again who were spurring the opportunities. Robinho flick found Garrido who crossed the ball onto the head of Benjani who failed to hit the target. Another fine pass from Robinho also led to a chance for SWP but his cross found no-one. City where really going for this now.

City went even closer to and equalizer on the 76th minute. Great skill from Benjani allowed Ireland to shoot from distance and Gomes scrambled to his right-hand side to force the ball out for a corner. Robinho then had a chance from the resulting corner but his volley was scuffed wide.

Finally the ref got my message, and Richard Dunne was given his marching orders. He tangled with Bent on the edge of the box and Mike Dean produced a straight red and City was down to nine-men. Im honestly excited for our next games now. Dunne won`t be able to make the mistakes that seem to cost us goals.

The game was not finished however as Mike Dean produced another flash of his favourite colour and sent off Spur`s left back Assou-Ekotto. Robinho then found himself running around like a headless Brazilian as he tried to produce his magic we all know he is capable of doing. However it was the away side that had the final chance, with Darren Bent shooting wide of the goal, when you would have put your money on him getting his hat-trick.

Final Score: Manchester City 1 – Spurs 2.

Aaron`s Conclusion:
The first half alone was awful, Fernandes should be loaned out if no sold in January, we have Kompany we really don`t need him. He runs around everywhere and makes needless tackles like he did today. Richard Dunne is a complete waste of space at the moment and his sending off could not have come at a better time. Benjani gave some positives, as did Robinho but it was Shaun Wright-Phillips who impressed me the most. He was superb today, never giving up on anything. Check the stats on how much mileage he clocked up today, it must be a new record?

Player Ratings

Joe Hart
Made some good saves, and couldn’t have done anything about the goals. 7/10

Pablo Zabaleta
Attacked well, and defended his area well. He is showing some promise in a defence that is failing. 7/10

Richard Dunne
What can i say? He really is useless! Lost the ball yet again too many times, and was at fault for the first goal. The sending off just capped off my decreasing opinion of your ability. I can’t say il miss your absence! 2/10

Micah Richards
Quiet game. Hard to fault the guy, who remember is only 20. Your certainly the rock in our sinking defence. 7/10

Javier Garrido
I think the improvement in this lad is terrific. His performance today was ok in general. We still need a better LB but I wouldnt get rid of Garrido just yet. 7/10

Shaun Wright-Phillips
Read Star Rating, 9/10

Getting sent off within 26 minutes is not the best way to prove your any good. I’ve always had doubts about him but have always given him the benefit of the doubt. However not anymore. 3/10

Solid performance, lacked the potential he is capable of, but was certainly not the worse player out there. 6/10

Without Robinho, we really could be in trouble. The question is how long is this superstar willing to stay at a club that’s plummiting down the table? 8/10

Another Solid Performance. Maybe should have done better on some occasions, but he is certainly the best alternative to Jo. 7/10

Hard to Judge, did well within the 25 minutes he played. Still looks a tad under full sharpness but set up the goal. 6/10

Kept the ball well, and used his experience to create play. I just get the feeling his legs have truly had it now. 6/10

Manager Rating
Oh Mark Mark Mark. Im sorry you dont play Fernandes in a game like this. Huddlestone and Zokora played in DM for Spurs. We could have used Elano to really get at them. You really do need to start getting things right, otherwise mate your head is really on the line.


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