Goalscorers: Paul Walsh 15, 44, Ilie Dumitrescu 29 PEN, 46, Niall Quinn 41, Steve Lomas 52, Garry Flitcroft 79
Manchester City: Andy Dibble, Keith Curle, Richard Edghill, Ian Brightwell, Terry Phelan, Garry Flitcroft, Steve Lomas, Peter Beagrie, Nicky Summerbee, Niall Quinn, Paul Walsh
Tottenham Hotspur: Ian Walker, Sol Campbell, Justin Edinburgh, David Kerslake, Kevin Scott, Gheorghe Popescu, Nick Barmby, Jason Dozzell (Micky Hazard 72), Ilie Dumitrescu, Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham
Referee: David Elleray, Attendance: 25,473
On a wet afternoon in Manchester in October 1994, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur produced a classic encounter for the supporters at Maine Road wrapped up against the elements.
Both sides were unchanged from their most recent matches and it was the home side who scored the first goal in this seven-goal encounter. Sol Campbell cutout Steve Lomas’ cross but his clearance only fell to City’s top scorer Paul Walsh who tucked his shot away with some aplomb against his old club. Walsh was enjoying a career renaissance since his move in March 1994 from First Division Portsmouth.
Tottenham flowed forward in search of an equaliser and found it 14 minutes later. Goalkeeper Andy Dibble committed himself and brought down Jurgen Klinsmann. Having seen red the previous weekend in an away win at Queens Park Rangers, his heartbeat must have been fluttering but David Elleray decided the foul was only enough for a yellow card.
Having missed his last three spot-kicks, Teddy Sheringham gave up responsibility to Ilie Dumitrescu and the Romanian made no mistake to level the scores. It was an end-to-end contest with both attacking outfits looking dangerous and neither defensive performance showing much signs of conviction. However, the Citizens showed their clinical approach just before half-time to score twice to go into the dressing rooms 3-1 infront.
First, Nicky Summerbee’s wicked cross was met by Walsh. Ian Walker kept his header out but Niall Quinn was first to the rebound to put City back infront. The home side’s direct approach was really working and moments later, Peter Beagrie tore down the left-hand side, found Quinn and Walsh once again provided the end product via Walker’s best efforts.
Tottenham got a goal back a minute into the second half. Klinsmann and Dumitrescu worked well together with the German’s clever backheel finding the Romanian and his shot took a deflection off Keith Curle to wrong-foot Dibble and give Spurs a pathway back into the match.
Ossie Ardiles was never known for his defensive shrewdness and more chaotic defending would follow which ensured Manchester City regained their two-goal advantage on 52 minutes. Beagrie got past David Kerslake far too easily and his inch-perfect cross found Lomas who got a free header to score. With 11 minutes left, Manchester City’s fifth goal finally put the game beyond Tottenham. Walsh again had a telling contribution, twisting and turning Campbell inside out. He then squared the ball back to Garry Flitcroft who provided a clean strike beyond Walker.
City’s 5-2 victory hastened a change in Tottenham management. After a humiliating midweek beating by Notts County in the League Cup third round, Ardiles was sacked and replaced by Gerry Francis. Tottenham ended up finishing the season in seventh position, 10 places above Manchester City in the final standings.