Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Spurs battle back for victory

Jermain Defoe strikes home Tottenham's second goal
Jermain Defoe strikes home Tottenham's second goal

Tottenham's Champions League hopes received a huge shot in the arm after they staged a stunning comeback to win 3-1 which left Manchester City on the brink of relinquishing their Barclays Premier League crown.

Former Arsenal man Samir Nasri looked as if he was going to inflict another damaging defeat on Andre Villas-Boas' men when he put City ahead in the first half.

Despite the return of Gareth Bale, Spurs struggled to get in to the game. They lacked cohesion and spirit for most of the game, but they scored three goals in eight minutes through Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Bale to claim a famous victory which means Manchester United will win the title on Monday night if they beat strugglers Aston Villa.

The early signs were good for Spurs. Amid a vibrant atmosphere in north London, Bale jinked past two defenders and fired a swirling shot which Joe Hart needed two attempts to gather.

The atmosphere soon turned sour though when City opened the scoring. With just over four minutes on the clock, Carlos Tevez stretched the Spurs back four and picked out James Milner, who fed Nasri and he slotted home with a cushioned volley.

Hugo Lloris had to be at his best to deny Edin Dzeko and Tevez in quick succession, but Spurs then went up the other end and thought they should have had a penalty when Michael Dawson's header struck Gareth Barry's arm, but referee Lee Mason waved play on.

Dempsey had a golden opportunity to equalise just before the break but he headed over from Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner.

Tottenham's push for an equaliser looked destined for failure until the 75th minute. City backed off Bale and he whipped a low teasing cross which Dempsey converted from close range.

The goal lifted Tottenham's spirits and they threw everything at City. The tactic paid off when Defoe, who had been on the pitch for just seven minutes, latched on to Lewis Holtby's through-ball and curled a brilliant shot past Hart.

A carnival atmosphere broke out inside White Hart Lane and the roof nearly came off moments later when Bale killed the game off by lifting the ball over Hart after a brilliant through-ball from Tom Huddlestone.

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