Tottenham Hotspur wrapped up their first ever Champions League berth for next season by securing fourth place in the English Premier League after beating big-spending Manchester City 1–0 on Wednesday at the Eastlands.
Peter Crouch headed in a loose ball in the box after City goalkeeper Marton Fulop failed to adequately deal with a hard cross. The 6-foot-7-inch striker scored in the 82nd minute, giving Spurs the advantage they needed.
With the victory, Spurs now enjoy a four-point lead over City with just one game left to play. But it doesn’t end there. If Tottenham can win on Sunday against relegated Burnley and Arsenal lose against Fulham, they’d snag third place from under the nose of their North London rivals.
“It’s fantastic. It’s been a terrific season for us. We played some good football [soccer],” said Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp in a post-match interview with Sky Sports.
“Crouchie [Peter Crouch] was fantastic tonight. He led the line well all night.”
Speculation was rife that Spurs would play not to lose but Redknapp responded, “I picked the team to have a go.”
The game featured good scoring chances at both ends of the pitch. Crouch had a header hit the post in the first half and another terrific header brilliantly saved by the feet of Fulop in the second half.
With Champions League comes the possibility of big money to the club as well as the prestige of competition against European giants like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan. Manchester City will settle for the second-tier Europa League next year.
Serie A leaders and Champions League finalists Inter Milan won the Italian Cup on Wednesday with a 1–0 win against AS Roma in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
Argentine striker Diego Milito scored the game’s only goal in the 40th minute.
Inter now has the first of three big trophies in their hands.
The Serie A race has two games remaining and Inter leads Roma by two points at the top of the table.
It’s not often in soccer that 12 goals are scored in one game. It’s not often that a team salvages a point after being down four goals.
At Fir Park Stadium, Motherwell came back from a 6–2 deficit and scored four goals in the final 23 minutes of play to gain an incredible 6–6 draw with Hibernian in Wednesday’s Scottish Premier League play.
Lucas Jutkiewicz had a chance to tie the game at 6–6 but his penalty kick was saved in the 87th minute. But he made amends with an unbelievable tight-angled blast to the top corner of the far side of the net in the 90th minute to get the draw for Motherwell.