Monday 05 May 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Tottenham Hotspur confirmed a fourth-place finish, and a spot in the UEFA Champions League the following season, with a narrow win over their nearest rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Just one point separated Spurs, in fourth, and City in fifth before kick-off, and Peter Crouch scored the only goal in the 82nd minute of a match billed as a UEFA Champions League showdown.
Spurs knew victory would be enough to secure fourth in the Barclays Premier League table and the European prize that went with it. City knew they had to beat the Londoners and hope to better their result in the final round of matches four days later.
The visitors made a bright start with Crouch heading a Gareth Bale free-kick against an upright in the 18th minute before another Bale set-piece set up Ledley King, but the defender's header was ruled out for a foul.
The hosts came close at the start of the second half when Gareth Barry touched on Adam Johnson’s cross but there was no one to finish it off.
Spurs continued to have the better of the chances with third-choice City goalkeeper Marton Fulop denying Jermain Defoe and Crouch either side of a Benoit Assou-Ekotto cross, which eluded everyone in a white shirt in the penalty area.
Crouch settled matters with his 13th goal of the season, and eighth in the Barclays Premier League, when he headed home a rebound from close range after Fulop had blocked a cross from Younes Kaboul.
“When you don’t finish fourth this is football but we did a good job,” Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, drenched by his players during a TV interview after the match, said: “It’s fantastic. It’s been a terrific season for us, we’ve played some great football and we deserve it.
“Most people probably thought we’ll come here and take a point but I picked the most attacking team you could ever wish to see.”