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Micah Richards

Wednesday November 12, 2008Manchester City 1 - Tottenham Hotspur 2

By Steve Sutcliffe | In Match Reports - Home Games

Manchester City’s descent down the Premier League table continued as they fell to their third consecutive league defeat against Harry Redknapps resurgent Tottenham side.

Darren Bent scored twice as Spurs came from behind to take all three points against nine-man City at a rain swept Eastlands.

Robinho had fired the opener for the Blues in the 15th minute before Gelson Fernandes was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 26th minute.

Bent levelled after a Richard Dunne error and then fired past Keeper Joe Hart from a tight angle to complete the Spurs revival.

City captain Dunne was shown a straight red in the closing stages and Spurs’ Benoit Assou-Ekotto was also dismissed late on.

This result extends Tottenham’s unbeaten run under Harry Redknapp but City boss Mark Hughes will be concerned that his side now lie just two points above bottom of the table West Brom.

City had once again started strongly and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Following a neat interchange of passing Darius Vassell got in down the right channel and his right foot shot was beaten away by Spurs keeper Gomes but straight into the path of Robinho, the Brazilian did not need to be asked twice and dispatched his effort gleefully into the unguarded net.

City were now in the ascendcy but shortly after, the dismissal of Gelson Fernandes was to change the course of the game. Booked on 18 minutes for unsporting behaviour, the City midfielder saw red when he was punished with a second yellow card for a rash challenge on David Bentley in the 26th minute.

As the swiss midfielder exited the field you could sense the change in atmosphere at the City of Manchester stadium. Mark Hughes and his staff busily reorganised from the bench to combat Spurs’ numerical advantage with Robinho being left as a lone front man.

But as City reshuffled to make themselves compact they were undone by a glaring error from Skipper, Dunne. The blues defender completely missed an innocuous-looking long-ball which allowed Bent to race clear. The striker steadied himself and fired past the combined efforts of Richards and Hart to notch his 10th of the season.

After the break Tottenham’s extra man started to become more evident as they continously recylced possession and they finally broke City’s brave resilience in the 63rd minute. Jermaine Jenas broke forward and held up a long ball which he turned on to the onrushing Bent. The hit man took aim and and fired a low drive past Hart into the net off the inside of the far post.

With the London clubs travelling fans starting to celebrate, city turned to their £32m player, Robinho for salvation and Gomes was forced to palm aside his 25-yard shot on 75 minutes.

City were reduced to nine men with 10 minutes to go when Dunne capped a horrible afternoon by dragging down Bent when the striker was through on goal.

Tottenham were themselves reduced to 10-men late on when Assou-Ekotto was shown a second yellow for a rash foul on Pablo Zabaleta.

City pushed hard for an equaliser but it was Tottenham who came closest to adding to the score when counter-attacking substitute Aaron Lennon found Bent in space, only for his shot to be saved.

Match Stats

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Fernandes, Vassell (Hamann 31), Robinho, Mwaruwari.
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Elano, Jo, Evans, Ben-Haim.

Sent Off: Fernandes (26), Dunne (83).

Booked: Fernandes.

Goals: Robinho 16.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Zokora, Jenas, Modric (Lennon 71), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Hutton, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell, Dawson, O’Hara.

Sent Off: Assou-Ekotto (89).

Booked: Zokora, King, Assou-Ekotto.

Goals: Bent 29, 64.

Att: 41,893

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).