Spurring action in the City

I watched the Manchester City v Tottenham game yesterday (via DVR, of course), also. I hadn't realized that Tottenham was doing as well as they are; they haven't looked very good the few times I've seen them this season (except once, I think). I certainly didn't expect that it was such an important battle for the top.

But the game started out quite even, with Spurs controlling most of possession, but very little in the way of scoring chances for either team. Given that, it wasn't too surprising that the first half ended scoreless.

But things got very exciting in the second half, with City scoring a pair in three minutes ten minutes or so in. But then, almost immediately after, they had a terrible defensive misplay leading to a very easy goal. And then, five minutes or so later, Bale put a beautiful shot from just outside the box into the top corner, hooking across most of the goal on the way. Not a fan of his, but that was pretty.

That's where things stood until stoppage time. There were more chances on each side (more for City, I think), but things just going back and forth.

One thing that made it a bit more interesting was that, shortly (maybe immediately? I can't remember) after the last goal, City substituted in Balotelli.

I'd kind of wondered why he was on the sidelines to begin with, as he's scored in almost every City game I've seen this season (several of them really, really nice ones, too; he got my attention early in the season with a nice bicycle kick). But watching him kind of showed why (I thought maybe it was just because he seems to be an arrogant schmuck); he tried to do everything by himself, and even interrupted the flow a couple of times.

And yet, in stoppage time, he forced the Spurs defender to pull him down in the box (amusingly, I thought it might have been a dive initially, but the replay showed that he'd had his legs scissored from under him). He took the shot, and even showed creativity there. He started with a normal, fast approach, then slowed almost to a stop just before shooting, which threw Friedel off. So, even though the shot didn't have a lot on it, and even though Friedel went the right direction, he still couldn't get to it.

If he grows up (mentally, that is), he will be one hell of a player. He's got the talent and creativity; he's just very undisciplined. Anyway, it made quite a finish to the game.

Of course, the lingering question is whether Mario will be censured for his apparent attempt to stomp on Parker earlier in the game. Can't really defend that; you just can't treat other players like that. Definitely no understanding of sportsmanship. Again, part of growing up.

That result left City comfortably on top, with Man U hoping to match them later yesterday. Unfortunately, I ran into the limit of number of channels to record, and that game didn't get recorded at all. (Apparently, my DVR took my command to cancel recording the Giants/49ers game to mean that I actually wanted to record it in SD instead of HD. *sigh*)

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