City of Manchester Stadium
A truly abysmal performance at Eastlands saw City complete the festive period with a meagre return of one point from twelve. In the only change to the team from Saturday's 0-0 draw at Middlesboro, Steve Ireland came into the midfield to replace the injured Sibierski. Tottenham brought in ex blue, Michael Brown and Aaron Lennon into midfield and Anthony Gardner in at the back.
The game started poorly for City and went downhill from there. If this is to be a pointer for 2006 I think we need to be looking downwards rather than up. City were simply awful allowing a useful Tottenham side to dominate in all areas. Despite their territorial domination however, it took a mistake of Gary Neville proportions to let in Spurs for their first. Lennon must be credited for keeping up the chase of a speculative through ball but how and why Distin left the ball for Lennon to nip in behind him and cross for Mido, only he knows. A simple hoof out for a throw would have been enough but sadly it seems the captain's complacent moments have returned of late.
The second half saw a brief improvement from City but in all honesty Spurs never looked troubled. It came as no surprise therefore that Keane, who else, doubled the lead when he met a long punt upfield that once again should have been cleared. Sorry but it was all to easy.
A couple of other points. David Sommeil should have been sent off for an awful challenge on Lee. It looked deliberate. the officials missed it, I think he can, and should, expect a ban. The crowd was the lowest for a Premiership game at Eastlands. No surprises really with the congested fixture list and more tellingly the fact that Birmingham aside we have managed two shots on target in the last four home games. Something is wrong despite the good start to the season and perhaps the board shoul now be questioning its own decision to keep the purse strings so tight in the summer.
Sun Jihai 5