By William Wood | In Match Reports - Away Games
The day that every football fan in the country has been waiting for arrived as Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur renewed their rivalry with an enthralling clash at White Hart Lane.
Although the game failed to deliver goals, there was plenty of action to go round as the two teams who battled to the death last term for the final Champions League place came head to head.
City have been busy in the transfer market this summer, with Mario Balotelli added to the squad yesterday following his big money move, and there were three new faces in the starting eleven in Yaya Toure, Aleksandar Kolarov and David Silva.
The first chance of the game fell to Shaun Wright-Phillips when the ball fell to the diminutive midfielder only for him to blaze over the bar, and soon after Peter Crouch connected with a Gareth Bale free-kick but saw Joe Hart make a good save.
Jermain Defoe’s turn and shot drew a wonderful save from Hart with ten minutes on the clock, and he was called into action again soon after following a rasping effort by Tom Huddlestone.
If the watching Fabio Capello needed further evidence of why Hart should be England’s number one, another example came when he completed a hat-trick of stunning saves from Benoit Assau-Ekotto’s shot.
A quick-fire double effort by Defoe again required Hart’s attentions, and when the young stopper was eventually beaten by Bale’s well-struck shot, the ball rebounded off the inside of the post.
It was all Spurs as City struggled to acclimatise, and Micah had to be on hand to clear the ball as Defoe set himself up to knock the ball in to an open net with half an hour gone.
The visitors will have been shell-shocked at the tempo of the game and certainly needed to recompose themselves during the break, something they succeeded in doing with a much improved display for the latter 45 minutes.
Wright-Phillips even had a chance to put City ahead when he broke clean through only for Assau-Ekotto to get back in the nick of time.
With City a more imposing presence in the second-half, the tempo and excitement of the game dipped, and Redknapp tried to revive his side’s flair by bringing on Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko for Defoe and Crouch.
However, the remainder of the game petered out with neither side able to grab the much-coveted goals, and each had to settle for a well-earned point as they got their seasons off to a solid start in North London.
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Wright-Phillips, Toure Yaya, De Jong, Barry, Silva, Tevez. Subs: Given, Zabaleta, Adebayor, Adam Johnson, Lescott, Vieira, Jo.
Tottenham: Gomes: Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto: Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric Bale; Crouch, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Bassong, Kaboul, Giovani, Palacios, Keane, Pavlyuchenko.