After watching Manchester United screw up, salvage a point and then establish a four point lead at the top of the table in the course of 90 Villa Park minutes last night, it’s vital that the champions answer back immediately.
It won’t be that simple for Manchester City however as they host a Tottenham team that are more up and down than Mario Balotelli on a pogo stick.
I’ll be here to keep you up to date with all the latest going-ons on from the Etihad Stadium. If you fancy chipping in, you can do so via the comments section below.
Manchester City 2 – 1 Tottenham
GREAT AARON LENNON RUN FOLLOWED BY POOR PASS/CROSS COUNT: 0
GARY NEVILLE BEMOANING A PLAYER ‘GOING DOWN EASILY’ COUNT: 1
3.25pm: FULL TIME! Despite the referee’s liberal interpretation of five minutes, City hold on for a win they deserved for a strong second half performance.
3.19pm: SUB! (And five minutes of stoppage time) Aguero goes off and Javi Garcia replaces him.
3.16pm: GOAL! MAN CITY! It’s a brilliant City goal. It’s the supersub, Edin Dzeko. He links up with David Silva, continues his run and Silva plays a brilliant chip over the top. The ball comes to the Bosnian and he hits it on the half volley and the power takes it past Friedel. Great goal and maybe even enough for the second Manchester comeback of the weekend? With City’s defending, don’t bank on it.
3.15pm: SUB! Aaron Lennon goes off and Kyle Naughton comes on.
3.14pm: Five minutes plus stoppage time to go: City 11/4, Draw 4/9, Spurs 9/1
3.12pm: A good save from old man Friedel after City work an opening from a thrown in. Dzeko flicks it to Aguero who blasts his shot straight at the American. Spurs break, but their move gets cleared thanks to some good defending.
3.10pm: Another chance for City. Aguero and Silva combine and in the end it’s the Spaniard who fires a shot low but narrowly wide.
3.08pm: SUB! Adebayor gets taken off before he gets himself sent off. Jermain Defoe is introduced.
3.07pm: CHANCE! Dzeko goes very close with a header from a City corner. Brad Friedel was left standing helpless, but that may have more to do with the onset of arthritis rather than him thinking it was comfortably going wide.
3.06pm: SUB! Kyle Walker comes off and Michael Dawson comes on. There’s a bit of rejigging done to the Spurs defence with Gallas moving to right back.
3.03pm: YELLOW CARD! Chapter 81 in today’s battle between Zabaleta and Adebayor. This time the Spurs striker looks to have rather poleaxed his rival and the referee goes back to book him after playing advantage at the time.
3.02pm: Gareth Bale somehow ricochets his way through the City defence and gets a shot away. Joe Hart successfully bats it away and we’ve got a bit of a thriller here.
3pm: SUB! Carlos Tevez fires a shot across goal. It’s not a very good shot, but City are at home so all the fans over-react. It’s his last contribution to the game as he gets the hook and Edin Dzeko takes his place.
2.59pm: Obviously that goal has changed the betting landscape. With 20 minutes to go, it’s 6/5 for a City win, 6/1 for Tottenham and 11/10 the draw.
Meanwhile, Yaya Toure is laid out on the pitch after landing painfully on his back following a collision with Sandro.
2.55pm: We have our first great Aaron Lennon run of the game, but much to everyone’s surprise, he finishes it off with a good pass rather than wasting it. Sadly, his team-mate can’t make the most of it and blasts a shot high and wide.
2.53pm: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY! It’s the equaliser and it comes through Sergio Aguero. He latches on to a ball in the penalty area, takes a touch and slots it beyond the creaking bones of Brad Friedel. Lovely finish.
2.49pm: Yaya Toure makes one of his barnstorming runs and fires at shot at Friedel from a narrow angle. It looks like the keeper saved it, but it was actually out of play before he got a hand to it.
2.45pm: SUB! Mancini makes his first change and it’s an odd one. He takes Nastasic off and puts Maicon on. I’m not sure shuffling your defence will help in this situation, but then again I’m not a multi-millionaire football manager.
2.43pm: Sergio Aguero beats the Spurs’ offside trap, but he can’t get the better off gravity. He gets on the end of a through ball from Toure, but just when it looks like he’s going one on one with Friedel, he slips and the chance goes to waste.
2.40pm: Lots of possession for City, but the fans are getting grumpy because it’s not translating into much other than some neat but not very incisive passing.
2.33pm: Tottenham start the second half. They’re 8/5 to finish this game with all three points. City are a 2/1 shot.
2.25pm: Jamie Redknapp – ‘goals are scored between the width of the posts’.
So THAT’S where Fernando Torres has been going wrong!
2.18pm: HALF TIME! The half time whistle goes and it’s quickly followed by a chorus of boos from the City fans. It’s been an interesting game, but not really because of the sparkling football.
Roberto Mancini goes to the dressing room knowing it’s going to take some amount of elegant scarf-wearing to inspire a turnaround here.
2.16pm: It’s PMT overdose at the Etihad right now with lots of niggly tackles, narky comments and finger=wagging. Finally some football breaks out and Zabaleta ends up with a chance eight yards out. He rather scuffs his shot and Friedel makes an easy save.
2.12pm: Another chance for City and this time they should have done better. A Spurs move breaks down, Yaya Toure sets Aguero away and he centres for Tevez who hits his shot tamely at Friedel from about 17 yards out. Good chance.
2.11pm: Crap defending from Spurs hands City a half chance, but Aguero’s shot is about as accurate a Wikipedia biography.
2.04pm: Another penalty shout for City and again, it’s not just the vodka talking. Zabaleta goes down under contact from Tom Huddlestone. The commentators say he ran into the Spurs player, but Huddlestone certainly played his part in engineering the collision.
1.59pm: YELLOW CARD! Seconds later Zabaleta and Adebayor renew their and rivalry and the result is a yellow card for the Argentine. It looked like a bad tackle, but replays show Adebayor was diving before the tackle came in. Bad news for City, good news for our Gary Neville bemoaning a player going down easily count.
1.58pm: Zabaleta is shouting at Adebayor for some reason – presumably because he thinks he went down too easily, but maybe also because he think Adebayor hasn’t made the most of his career.
1.57pm: YELLOW CARD! Kyle Walker goes into the book for a sloppy tackle.
1.56pm: Spurs break and after a good dribble from Adebayor, Tom Huddlestone blasts a shot inches wide from the edge of the box.
1.54pm: Man City appeal for another penalty and this time it’s a much stronger shout – vodka at breakfast or no vodka at breakfast. The ball hits William Gallas’s outstretched arm. The Frenchman didn’t mean it, but his arm got in the way of a City chance.
1.51pm: GOAL! 1-0 TOTTENHAM! Spurs have been looking far more dangerous in the last few minutes and they’ve taken the lead. Tom Huddlestone puts in a lovely delivery from a dead ball out on the right and Steven Caulker heads it pretty much straight at Joe Hart. It seems to hit the City keeper squarely on the chest, but somehow squirms beyond him.
1.50pm: A bit of musical statues in the City defence defending a simple throw in leads to a half chance for Spurs, but Joe Hart dives on the ball to calm things down.
1.45pm: Some of the City fans appeal for a penalty, but mainly the City fans who were drinking vodka at breakfast because it was actually rather a good tackle from Caulker.
1.42pm: Spurs haven’t seen much of the ball, but they’ve finally settled down. They’re looking reasonably good. Well, looking about as good as you can wearing a jersey that looks like a low budget halloween costume:
1.35pm: Strong start from City. They’ve got a monopoly on the ball like Andre Villas-Boas has a monopoly on strange quotes that don’t actually mean anything.
1.31pm: The Remembrance Sunday minute silence is observed perfectly. Manchester City get the game underway.
1.27pm: The dachshund – yet to take the Premier League by storm:
1.25pm: Jamie Redknapp highlights Jermain Defoe’s ‘low centre of gravity’ as a strong point. If that really was a key indicator of sporting prowess, wouldn’t we see more dachshunds lining out in the Premier League?
1.23pm: This has nothing to do with today’s game, but man, it’s hilarious (as long as you can ignore the injury caused to all concerned, which we can)
1.14pm: The Sky Sports commentator says Spurs are looking to ‘exercise some demons’ today. Unless Andre Villas-Boas is getting Casper the ghost to do a Beep Test, I’m guessing he means ‘exorcise some demons’. Although that would be hilarious.
1.12pm: At 4/7, Manchester City are the hot favourites to claim all three points, but as we saw from Tottenham’s visit to the Etihad last season, there’s little chance of it being that simple. Spurs are an interesting bet at 5/1 and the 3/1 on offer for the draw doesn’t sound like a ridiculous choice. Certainly not as ridiculous a choice as spending £15 million on a sub goalie.
1.07pm: Abdre Vuillas- Boas is speaking to Sky Sports and he puts the omission of Defoe down to today’s ‘strategy’. And by ‘strategy’ I presume he means ‘hoofing the ball in the direction of Adebayor.
12.56pm: TEAM NEWS!
The teams have been named and the big news is David Silva and Sergio Aguero both start for Manchester City.
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Barry, Yaya Toure, Tevez, Kolarov, Silva, Aguero.
Andre Villas-Boas got stick from the Tottenham fans after taking off Jermaine Defoe when Spurs needed a goal against Wigan last Satruday and he has side-stepped that timebomb by just not picking Defoe at all. Adebayor starts and Friedel gets the nod in goal, probably triggering a hissy fit from Hugo Lloris.
Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Sandro, Lennon, Bale, Dempsey, Adebayor