It was a much needed win midweek for City as Pellegrini's gamble paid off. I would guess that had the European result been better and with a victory last weekend then I think you would have seen a much changed lineup for the Capital One Cup game against Sunderland. Winning ways needed to be rediscovered and Sergio Aguero in particular benefitted, finding the net with a very calmly taken penalty.
TOTTENHAM HEAD TO HEAD:
For the next opponents City travel to White Hart Lane where they face a ninth placed Tottenham Hotspur. Their situation could have been much worse if not for the last two League games, both 1-0 wins, their first and second of the season. It will be the 150th meeting between the two clubs in League and Cup competition since the first one, in Manchester, in 1909.
Thomas Holford scored three goals for City that day but it wasn't enough to continue the run as they would lose 4-3.
Since that time the statistics have pretty much evened out with Tottenham having won 58 of those 149 matches so far, while City have won 57. Since that first defeat in 1909 through the start of World War Two City would only lose ten times, from a total of thirty three meetings.
We wouldn't meet Spurs in our first title winning season but in our second title winning season of 1967/68 City beat Spurs 4-1 at Maine Road with goals from Colin Bell, Tony Coleman, Mike Summerbee and Neil Young. The return fixture was the penultimate game of the season where a brace from Bell and one from Summerbee set us up for a very exciting finish to the season.
I think we all remember the game on August 28th when we beat them, on their own ground, 5-1. Four goals from Edin Dzeko and one from Sergio Aguero kept our season going in the right direction. The return fixture was almost a throw away by City. After Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott put City 2-0 up, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale pulled it back level within five minutes. A Mario Ballotelli penalty in the last minute was enough to secure all three points.
The last title winning season of 2013/14 City beat Tottenham on both occasions, scoring eleven and conceding just the one goal in the process. Aguero (3), Navas (2), Negredo, Toure, Dzeko, Jovetic, Kompany and an own goal from Sandro.
It would be wrong of me not to mention that FA Cup Final in 1981 when Tommy Hutchison scored the opener for City before then equalizing for Tottenham and taking us to that replay and that great goal from Ricky Villa.
On the plus side, in 2004, twenty three years after that FA Cup defeat and ninety five years after that first meeting City had one of the greatest comebacks in FA Cup history. 3-0 down and with Joey Barton sent off at half time City would go on to win the tie thanks to goals from Sylvan Distin, Paul Bosvelt and Shaun Wright-Phillips in normal time before John Macken scored the winner in stoppage time.
Of course Emmanuel Adebayor is one of the first names mentioned when you think of players who have worn both the City shirt and the Tottenham shirt. He was the more recent example but now finds himself without a club and not sure of a next move.
If you go back a little further you might remember Vedran Corluka who played for City. He went on to play for Tottenham. Now at Lokomotiv Moscow, the Croatian was certainly one of my personal favorites from that Sven Goran Eriksson season.
Go back even further and you have the two Pauls. Stewart and Walsh both played for City and Spurs. For Walsh it was City after Tottenham, scoring on his home debut against West Ham but didn't stay long.
Paul Stewart also stayed for a season but will probably be remembered by most by being one of three City players to score hat tricks in the same game as City beat Huddersfield 10-1. David White and Tony Adcock were the other two.
Other players to see action for both clubs would be Clive Allen, Clive Wilson, Bobby Mimms, Neil McNabb, Chris Jones and Michael Brown.
Earlier on in history you have a rather strange situation with Bert Sproston. He had already been capped internationally. In 1938 he was transferred to Spurs from Leeds for a hefty fee of $14k. He played a handful of games for Spurs before being transferred to City a day before the two clubs played. Bert lined up for City and was on the right end of a 2-0 result. The war interrupted the players career and ended up staying at City until he last game on January 21st 1950.
Alex Steel was at City until joining Tottenham, and his brothers Danny and Bobby at Spurs. He only played the single game for them, but that put him in the record books, only time three brothers played together for Spurs in a League game.