On this day: Tottenham Hotspur blow three-goal lead again

On this day: Spurs blow three-goal lead again
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A decade ago, Manchester City battled back from a three-goal deficit to win 4-3 away at Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.

When Tottenham Hotspur blew a three-goal half-time advantage to lose 5-3 against Manchester United in September 2001, it was viewed by many as a freak result, of the like that had rarely been seen before in the English top flight.

So, when Spurs were 3-0 up against Manchester City in the FA Cup fourth-round tie at White Hart Lane when the whistle was blown for the break 10 years ago today, not even the most loyal of visiting supporters thought that their run in the competition would be extended into the last 16.

The two sides had played out a 1-1 draw at the City of Manchester Stadium, but there was a major gulf between them during the first half of the replay.

Playing in midfield, Ledley King curled hosting Tottenham in front with just two minutes on the clock, before Robbie Keane lifted the ball over City's debutant goalkeeper, Arni Arason, in the 19th minute.

Then two minutes before the interval, German full-back Christian Ziege eyed up a free kick 25 yards from the City goal and went on to bend the ball beyond the reach of a diving Arason and into the top corner of the net.

To compound City's misery, midfielder Joey Barton was handed his second yellow card as the players headed back to the dressing room for showing dissent towards referee Rob Styles and his assistants.

However, rather than settle for damage limitation after the restart, Kevin Keegan's team went about defying their numerical disadvantage. In the 48th minute, Michael Tarnat crossed for Sylvain Distin, who headed in what at the time was viewed as little more than a consolation.

When Paul Bosvelt scored a second goal for City in the 68th minute, the home faithful started to get a little twitchy. The Dutch midfielder's bouncing effort appeared to be heading wide, but it was deflected into the net by Spurs defender Anthony Gardner.

City continued to push forward and with 10 minutes left to play they amazingly drew themselves level thanks to Shaun Wright-Phillips, who raced on to a pass from Robbie Fowler to lift the ball over an advancing Kasey Keller.

With extra time fast approaching, the visitors completed the comeback in stoppage time when Tarnat's cross from the left was met by substitute John Macken, and the former Man United trainee duly headed an effort over Keller and into the back of the net, much to the delight of the travelling fans.

After the match, winning manager Keegan said: "They'll talk about this game long after we've all gone."

His side were beaten in the next round, though, by rivals Manchester United.

SPURS: Keller; Carr, Richards, Gardner, Ziege (Jackson); Dalmat, King, Brown, Davies; Postiga (Poyet), Keane

MAN CITY: Arason; Jihai, Dunne, Distin, Tarnat; Wright-Phillips, Barton, Bosvelt (Sibierski), Sinclair (McManaman); Fowler, Anelka (Macken)

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