Nine minutes transform City-Spurs encounter | sports | Hindustan Times
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Nine minutes transform City-Spurs encounter

sports Updated: Jan 23, 2012 02:20 IST


Mario Balotelli struck a dramatic injury-time penalty as Manchester City overcame a brave Tottenham fightback to win 3-2 and take a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Sunday. Substitute Balotelli blasted in his spot-kick deep into injury time after the Italian striker had been bundled over by Ledley King for a clear-cut penalty.

The finale capped a remarkable game which had seen Spurs recover from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 with goals from Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale after City had taken the lead through Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott.

Spurs' agony was compounded by a chance missed by Defoe moments before City's winner which might have given them a 3-2 lead, the striker just failing to tuck away a low cross from Bale.

Crucial Points
The result saw City take a six-point lead at the top of the table although second-placed Manchester United can reduce the deficit if they win at Arsenal in Sunday's late match.

After a scrappy first half where neither side managed to get a grip on the game, the contest exploded into life shortly after the restart with four goals inside nine minutes. City drew first blood with a wonderfully worked opener on 56 minutes, David Silva releasing Nasri with a perfectly weighted through ball which took the French international beyond the Spurs defence.

The former Arsenal star ghosted away from Kyle Walker and Younes Kaboul and unleashed an unstoppable first-time shot that flew past Brad Friedel. City looked to have taken a stranglehold on the match within three minutes when Lescott made it 2-0.
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