Spurs hold on for victory over City

 

Manchester City 1 Tottenham 2:Tom Huddlestone scored his first Premiership goal as Tottenham survived a spirited second-half fightback to claim their first away league victory of the season.

Huddlestone crashed home a 25th-minute half-volley to add to Calum Davenport's early opener and make a mockery of Manchester City's once proud unbeaten home record.

But Stuart Pearce's men struck back after their dismal opening spell and Joey Barton's 64th-minute strike at least gave them hope of retaining that proud run of form stretching over eight games.

Utterly dominant in a first period in which Huddlestone and Dimitar Berbatov both ought to have put the game out of reach, the visitors had to cling on to claim their valuable win.

And they even survived a debatable penalty decision with five minutes left when Malbranque appeared to bring down Barton in the box, only for referee Rob Styles to wave play-on.

City were deservedly booed off by their own fans at half-time as their unbeaten home run threatened to go up in smoke after an awful opening spell.

The tone for the first half was set in the opening seconds when Lee Young-Pyo was afforded too much space in the box and crossed for Berbatov, who mis-kicked in front of goal.

Spurs came closer in the 13th minute, when Jermain Defoe's initial effort ricocheted into the path of Berbatov, whose follow-up from a tight angle was booted off the line by Sylvain Distin.

And they finally took a well-deserved lead in the 16th minute when Davenport rose highest to meet Huddlestone's free-kick into the box, and headed the ball home past Nicky Weaver.

Even at that early stage it was evident Barton would be the man to fashion an unlikely City revival, and he fired an audacious long-range effort just over the bar in the 19th minute.

The rest of the action came at the other end with Spurs keeper Paul Robinson a virtual spectator.

Berbatov saw a weak low shot saved by Weaver before the inevitable second goal arrived.

Ghaly crossed from the left to find Huddlestone on the edge of the box, and the 19-year-old crashed home a spectacular half-volley to mark the first Premiership goal of his career in style.

Directionless City should have fallen further behind, with Steed Malbranque too casual with a close-range effort which brought an acrobatic save out of Weaver.

Confident Huddlestone fired over from long range before another mix-up in the City defence allowed Berbatov to bear down on goal, only to be denied by another fine Weaver save.

But Pearce used his motivational skills in the dressing room to give his side a chance of turning around what had seemed to be an increasingly hopeless cause.

Replacing the poor Georgios Samaras with Nedum Onuoha, City pressed forward with renewed vigour, Hatem Trabelsi finding Dickov whose shot was deflected over the bar.

Richard Dunne headed over from the resulting corner, then Stephen Ireland wasted City's best chance to reduce the deficit when he was sent scampering clear but ballooned his shot wide.

City's goal finally came in the 64th minute when Dickov created space down the left and hit a low cross for Barton to steal in at the far post and poke the home side back into the match.

Pearce was forced to make another change in the 70th minute when Reyna was injured in a midfield challenge and replaced by substitute Ousmane Dabo.

City kept pressing but with time running out Barton had vociferous penalty appeals waved away by referee Rob Styles after tangling with Malbranque in the Spurs box.