Saturday, May 16, 2009

Citizens hopes for Europe end with loss to Tottenham

The Citizens hopes for the Europa League ended with a 2-1 loss to Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon. With Man City targeting a number of top shelf players, the impact of not winning a Europa League berth could greatly reduce the lure of signing with the club.

With so much on the line for both sides, Man City's performance was a hearty slice shy of being sufficient and if wasn't for Shay Given the score line could have been significantly worse. After a number of top quality chances, Tottenham found the mark just past the half hour as Jermaine Jenas linked to Tom Huddlestone before his cross was half-volleyed in by Jermaine Defoe past the City 'keeper. Losing Elano to injury Pablo Zabaleta was ushered in and despite a few respectable efforts City was unable to level the match until five minutes past the hour when Valeri Bojinov found the mark. Just on the outskirts of the box, Stephen Ireland one-touched a perfect chip to Benjani who brought the ball down to the Bulgarian international who then sent it in the far side of the net. With the match already dotted with a peculiar incident at the half between Jermaine Defoe and a assistant referee, at the seventy-fifth minute Roman Pavlyuchenko stormed off the pitch as he was pulled for Fraizer Campbell. Not to be outdone with four minutes remaining referee Mark Halsey adjudged Micah Richards to bringing down Fraizer Campbell in a highly questionable call with Robbie Keane converting to make it 2-1. Despite having a quality chance to level the match late with Benjani's point-blank chance the match ended without further mark.

Despite considerable commentary from City's management that failure to qualify for European football, this will definitely complicate their efforts and will rule out a number of top shelf players