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How Peter Crouch went from hero to zero in the same fixture in just 12 months

The Premier League cult hero was equally responsible for one of the highest and lowest points in Tottenham's history

It’s the small matter of Manchester City against Tottenham on Saturday evening.

And no man will be met by equal measures of nostalgia and shivers down their spine by the thought of this fixture quite like Peter Crouch.


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Crouch doing what he does best

Rex Features
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Crouch doing what he does best

That’s because in the space of just 12 months he went from saviour to villain in two pivotal games between the two sides.

Let’s cast our minds back to May 2010…

Man City 0-1 Tottenham (May 5 2010)

We’ll set the scene.

In the penultimate Premier League game of a pulsating season just a point separated the two sides in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Gentle reminder Gareth Bale and Younes Kaboul were once team-mates

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Gentle reminder Gareth Bale and Younes Kaboul were once team-mates

Up steps Crouch, emerging from the smoke like a knight in shining armour eight minutes from time to send the travelling Spurs fans into utter pandemonium.

Crouch’s bizarre headed goal, beating Vincent Kompany to the ball at the near post, guaranteed Tottenham’s first ever appearance in the Champions League and consigned City to the Europa League.

How much did he know about this one?

News Group Newspapers Ltd
7
How much did he know about this one?

Crouchie was mobbed after the winner

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Crouchie was mobbed after the winner

It was rich reward for a Spurs side who had revelled under Harry Redknapp all season, inspired by the likes of Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart.

The win sparked memorable celebrations in the immediate aftermath, including David Bentley emptying an entire ice bath over Redknapp’s head during an interview with Sky Sports.

An iconic moment in Sky Sports history

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An iconic moment in Sky Sports history

Man City 1-0 Tottenham (May 10 2011)

Fast forward a year and the circumstances were very similar… but with a distinctly contrasting outcome.

City were in the box seat for Champions League qualification with three games of the season to go, holding a six point lead over their opponents.

And, despite dominating the game, Spurs had the tables turned on them when Crouch inadvertently turned into his own net after half an hour at exactly the same end as the year before.

Same end, but the wrong end as far as Spurs were concerned

Action Images - Reuters
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Same end, but the wrong end as far as Spurs were concerned

It propelled City into Europe’s most prestigious competition for the first time and left Spurs staring down the barrel of another insipid season in the Europa League.

And Crouch?

That was last we saw of him in a Spurs shirt

PA:Press Association
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That was last we saw of him in a Spurs shirt

Well he left White Hart Lane with his tale between his legs, moving onto Stoke just months later where he has remained for the rest of his career.

How will emerge as the heroes and villains when the two rivals meet again on Saturday?


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