22nd October 1994 – Maine Road
The third season of the newly formed Premier League saw City in a decent position. The blues sat in 8th place in the table and had won four out of the first ten matches, but in terms of challenging for the league title, the blues were way off the mark. Eleven points separated City from leaders Newcastle but still, City fans had reason to be optimistic.
Spurs on the other hand had spent big in the summer and were failing to deliver. One of the major Premier League coup’s came at White Hart Lane when lethal German striker Jurgen Klinsmann joined the London outfit in the summer however, despite his signing, Spurs sat one point and four places behind City, having won and lost four of their opening ten games.
The blues hadn’t had a good recent record against Spurs, having lost the last four home league and cup games and two away games against the Londoners, and with the firepower the visitors possessed, another Spurs victory was anticipated.
But the blues had a blossoming strike force of their own in the form of Paul Walsh and Niall Quinn, and on 22nd October, the pair showed exactly what they could do.
And it was Walsh who struck first against his old club. A Steve Lomas cross intended for Quinn was cut out by the defender, but it turned out to be a perfect pass to Walsh who fired home first time to give City the lead after just fifteen minutes.
But in usual City style, the lead wouldn’t last, and it was Klinsmann at the heart of the equaliser. The German got in behind the City defence and went to ground under a challenge from City keeper Andy Dibble and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Dibble got himself a booking to go with the red card he’d received a week earlier at QPR. The City faithful were furious with the decision, and accused the German of diving, given Klinsmann’s reputation. But the ref was never going to change his mind and Romanian star Ilie Dumitrescu stepped up and hammered the ball home to make it 1-1.
City stepped up the pace and jut 12 minutes later, they were back in front. Garry Flitcroft played an inch perfect ball to Nicky Summerbee on the right wing, and his cross found Walsh in acres of space in the penalty area. His header was saved at point blank range, but Quinn followed up to head home and City were back in the lead.
And two minutes later, the bleus went further ahead. Peter Beagrie produced some magic along the left wing before playing in Quinn. The big Irishman squared for Walsh and his first time shot was saved by the keeper, only for the rebound to bounce down and into the back of the net for 3-1.
As usual though, the blues wanted to make it hard for themselves and allowed Spurs a lifeline 60 seconds into the second half, and it was Dumitrescu and Klinsmann at the heart of it again. The Romanian charged forward and played in the German, who back-healed the ball back to Dumitrescu who fired past Dibble to make it 3-2.
Spurs fancied themselves to get an equaliser but City all but quashed their hopes six minutes later. Quinn won possession in midfield and played in Walsh, who took on the Spurs defence before passing out wide to Beagrie. The tricky winger skipped past the defender and crossed perfectly into the penalty area, where the ball was met by the head of the incoming Lomas, to score City’s fourth.
Now City were in no mood to allow Spurs anywhere near Dibble’s goal and wrapped up the win with 11 minutes remaining. Walsh had been a thorn in the Spurs’ defence all afternoon and when the striker went on another mazy run, another goal was imminent. The striker lost control in the box, but still had the presence of mind to play the ball across the penalty area where Flitcroft was rushing in to slide home goal number five.
The win lifted the blues to 7th in the Premier League, while Spurs dropped a place into 13th.