I must say I’m absolutely delighted with Spurs’ win at Manchester City in the League Cup. Every player battled for the full 90 minutes, and this was even when we were down to 10 men!
Spurs went ahead through Jermain Defoe – who was in for Darren Bent, who has a hip injury. The build up was patient, with neat passing moves. A defence splitting pass came to Aaron Lennon who crossed for Defoe to tuck home.
The sending off of Didier Zokora was a very bad decision by Steve Bennett. It was not even a foul. The City player didn’t even have to jump to avoid the challenge! This said, I think eventual match winner Steed Malbranque was later lucky to just get a yellow card for a two footed challenge.
Goalscorer Defoe came off and in came Teemu Tainio.
As you can guess, Spurs were up against it with just ten men. But they kept battling and fighting for each other. Spurs’ defence was solid – yes solid. Berbatov – who was obviously up front on his own – was outstanding as he used his sublime skill to try and retain possession and perhaps even build something.
City did have shots, but they found Paul Robinson in fine form. He made some fantastic saves, for example, a header from Rolando Bianchi, which Kaboul kicked off the line.
As City tried to equalise Spurs always looked dangerous on the counter, with that, Malbranque made it two-nothing, as he latched on to Jamie O’Hara’s wonderful long range pass, got passed Richard Dunne’s challenge, got through on the ‘keeper, and slotted home.
Berbatov could have made it three in the 89th minute, but despite great skill to get himself into the box, his tired shot at the ‘keeper was saved.
All the player’s deserve a big pat on the back. I think a mention should be given to Aaron Lennon, who seems to be getting back to his old self. He’s also working hard and tracking back, which is good to see. Also Tainio’s performance at right-back was great, considering he’s a midfielder, he did very well, and made some very important interceptions.