By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City secured their Champions League spot courtesy of a 1-0 victory over fellow coveters of fourth place, Tottenham Hotspur at the City of Manchester stadium.
Micah made his first appearance for several weeks having overcome a hamstring injury, and he, along with team-mates Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure et al were in fine form as City held on for the three points that assures them of at least fourth in the Premier League.
The 22-year old was in the thick of it early on as he charged forward and picked up a well-placed pass from Adam Johnson, but his attempted cross was cut out by the Spurs defence.
Edin Dzeko went close soon after when David Silva picked him out, but his effort was straight at Carlos Cudicini who made a fine save amidst a real tussle in midfield as both sides looked to assert their authority on the game.
The visitors had a great opportunity to grab the lead as fine build up play allowed the advancing Luka Modric a free shot on goal, but the Croatia international but the ball agonisingly wide just as the City fans had resigned themselves to conceding.
City’s reply was immediate as they seized the lead. A corner off stand-in left-back Danny Rose was eventually whipped in by James Milner, and Peter Crouch’s extended leg knocked the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
The statistics at half-time showed Spurs enjoying a vast amount of possession, but the chances they created were few and far between and allowed Roberto Mancini’s men to control the game from the back.
Micah and co were dominant in defence and Harry Redknapp’s men were struggling to find a way through, reduced to pot-shots as Rose, Modric and Sandro skied efforts from way out.
Such were Spurs’ forward endeavours that they were leaving themselves open to counter-attacks, and from one such break Dzeko had the chance to run at the defence only for his left-footed effort to be deflected behind.
Similarly, substitute Patrick Vieira burst forward and collected the ball, deftly chipping over Cudicini only for William Gallas to head clear off the line with minutes remaining.
City had to still be alert at the back and as the game entered added time, Micah made a sound intervention to halt Vedran Corluka’s cut back.
With time ticking away, Carlos Tevez was sent clean through only for his resulting shot to be superbly denied by Cudicini, and the final whistle was eventually blown to secure City’s place in at least the Champions League qualifying stage.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Milner, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Adam Johnson, Silva, Dzeko. Subs: Given, Wright-Phillips, Kolarov, Vieira, Tevez, Boyata, Balotelli.
Tottenham: Cudicini, Corluka, Dawson, Gallas, Rose, Lennon, Palacios, Sandro, Modric, Van der Vaart, Crouch. Subs: Pletikosa, Kaboul, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Bassong, Kranjcar, Pienaar.