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Match From The Past – Manchester City v Spurs

Blues Hammer Spurs In Seven Goal Thriller

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Manchester City v Norwich City - Maine Road Photo by Paul Marriott/EMPICS via Getty Images

Manchester City welcomed Spurs to Maine Road on a cold, we day in October 1994. The famous Kippax Street terrace had been demolished and a new, reduced capacity stand had been installed as building work continued on the eventual two tier stand. The Premier League was still in its infancy and the visitors had made the headlines in the summer by bringing striker Jurgen Klinsmann to England, and the German had already made a big impact in the Premier League. As well as Klinsmann, Spurs boasted Romanian stars Gheorghe Popescu and Ille Dumitrescu in their ranks.

But despite their presence, Spurs sat in 12th place in the Premier League on 14 points, four places below but just one point behind 8th placed City, who themselves were 11 points behind leaders United – Newcastle United that is. It was widely expected that Spurs expensive new side, managed by former player Ossie Ardiles, would take all three points from Brian Horton’s men. How wrong they would be.

Horton had reverted to an attacking line up, with Paul Walsh and Niall Quinn leading the front line, with Nicky Summerbee and Peter Beagrie playing the old-fashioned winger roles, and for a period in the match, it looked like Horton’s tactics would fail miserably. But former Spurs star Walsh had other ideas and on 15 minutes gave the blues the lead. Steve Lomas’s cross to Quinn was cut out, but the ball fell kindly to Walsh, who hit it home left footed, before celebrating in front of the Platt Lane end.

The lead lasted 14 minutes until Spurs were level, and it was Klinsmann that was involved. The German striker had a big reputation for diving, and in the 29th minute, he went down under a challenge from City keeper Andy Dibble. The former Luton keeper protested his innocence, but the referee pointed to the spot and Dumitrescu hammered home from 12 yards.

Where previous City teams would have dropped their heads, this one seemed motivated and were back in front on 41 minutes. Garry Flitcroft played an amazing ball to the right wing to Summerbee, whose pinpoint cross picked out Walsh, whose point blank header as parried by the keeper into the path of Quinn, who headed home from close range.

And the bleus went further ahead on the stroke of half time. Beagrie danced his way past the Spurs defence on the left, before releasing Quinn, who flicked the ball to Walsh. The striker’s first time shot with the outside of his right foot was saved by the keeper, but bounced over the line to make it 3-1 to City at half-time.

Spurs dragged themselves back into the match a minute into the second half and it was the same two, Klinsmann and Dumitrescu who combined. The Romanian drove forward and released Klinsmann, who made a return pass to Dumitrescu and his shot was deflected beyond Dibble to make it 3-2.

But six minutes later, the blues restored their two goal lead and again, it was Walsh who was the architect. Taking on the Spurs defence, the former Portsmouth man before passing to Beagrie, who again foxed his way past the Spurs defence and his cross was met by the head of an unmarked and grateful Lomas, who ghosted in and made no mistake for 4-1.

That seemed to take the sting out of Spurs’ resistance and with eleven minutes remaining, City completed the rout. City played the ball out if defence to Walsh who was just inside the City half, and the striker again drove forward and tormented the Spurs defence, weaving his way into the penalty area, before crossing for the incoming Flitcroft to sidefoot home City’s fifth.

An amazing day, an amazing win as the blues moved up to 7th in the Premier League, just one point behind Manchester United in 5th place, while Spurs dropped to 13th. Strangely, by the end of the season, the blues and Spurs had traded places, with City finishing in 13th place and Spurs 7th.

Final Score: Man City 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur

City: Dibble, Edghill, Curle, Brightwell, Phelan, Summerbee, Flitcroft, Lomas, Beagrie, Walsh, Quinn

Subs: Margetson, Hill, Mike

Spurs: Walker, Edinburgh, Campbell, Kerslake, Dozzell, Scott, Barmby Popescu, Dumitrescu, Klinsmann, Sheringham

Subs: Calderwood, Thorstvedt, Hazard

Attendance: 25, 473