Manchester City took full advantage of the controversial dismissal of Danny Rose early in the second half to inflict a 5-1 defeat on us at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening.
The full-back was given a straight red card in the 49th minute after a tackle on Edin Dzeko inside the area, although he appeared to get a good contact on the ball before the City striker went down. The visitors were only 1-0 up at that stage through Sergio Aguero, but Yaya Toure then converted the resulting penalty and further goals from Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany rounded off the win. Etienne Capoue’s first-ever Spurs goal on 59 minutes was our only reply.
There was just the one change from the side which beat Swansea City 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium, with Gylfi Sigurdsson coming in for Nacer Chadli down the left side of midfield.
And despite the teaming rain, there was a cracking atmosphere inside the Lane at kick-off, with the visitors making the brighter start.
City were on the front foot from the outset and almost snatched a lead inside five minutes. Fernandinho popped a pass into Aguero 20 yards from goal, he took the ball to the right past Michael Dawson, kept going wider past Vlad Chiriches and let fly a shot from the angle which crashed off the far post and back into play. From the rebound, City worked the ball wide and from the cross, Dzeko headed well wide.
Just six minutes later, the Bosnian striker had another sight of goal as he played a one-two with Aguero, cut inside Kyle Walker who slipped, leaving him in on goal from a tight angle but he blazed over the bar.
The goal seemed as if it was coming for the visitors and it did arrive after quarter of an hour. David Silva picked up the ball midway inside our half in plenty of space, he was able to turn and pick a pass in between our defence to Aguero, who slid the ball past Hugo Lloris, just inside the far post.
Our first chance came on 20 minutes when Mousa Dembele found Emmanuel Adebayor, who dropped his shoulder and worked a yard of space, but his shot was deflected for a corner. From the set-piece, the ball dropped inside the six yard box but no-one was there to add the final touch and Joe Hart gathered.
At the other end almost immediately, David Silva whipped in a cross which Aguero headed goalwards and was only denied by a magnificent one-handed diving save from Lloris. And shortly after, Rose cleared a header off the line before Aguero let fly on the turn just inside the area but fired over.
City were on top, hunted in numbers to win back possession all over the park while we couldn’t get a foothold in the match, but the tide started to turn after the half-hour mark.
On 32 minutes, Christian Eriksen’s corner was flicked goalwards by Nabil Bentaleb but never threatened City’s goal and three minutes later we thought we were level. Rose was clipped by Toure right on the edge of the area down the left, Eriksen fizzed in a right-footed shot which Dawson poked home off the crossbar at the far post, only for the assistant’s flag to go up and rule it out for offside.
Just before the break, another free-kick was awarded after Martin Demichelis slid in on Adebayor, Eriksen’s set-piece was headed clear to Dembele 25-yards out, who took one touch and volleyed goalwards but it always drifting just wide and we went in behind at the break.
Only three minutes were on the clock in the second half when the moment of controversy arrived, which swayed the game hugely in City’s favour. Dzeko was put clear by Fernandinho inside the area but as he was about to shoot, Rose slid in from behind and upended the striker. Replays show Rose got a clear touch on the ball before Dzeko went down, but the match officials decided it was a penalty. Rose was given a red card…and Toure converted the spot-kick.
With the man advantage, the visitors quickly added a third on 54 minutes when Dzeko latched onto the rebound and drilled home after Silva’s initial shot had cannoned back off the post.
But if anyone thought our heads were about to drop they were seriously mistaken. Just five minutes later we pulled a well-deserved goal back when Eriksen delivered an inviting corner which caused a scramble in City’s six-yard box and substitute Capoue pounced on the rebound to lash home his first goal in our colours.
That gave the Lane a massive boost and despite the discrepancy in numbers on the pitch, we were more than making a game of it, although Dzeko had three chances to extend City’s lead, two which he put wide and sent another into the arms of Lloris from 25-yards.
With their two-goal advantage, City were able to be patient in possession and in the 78th minute, they added a fourth when Fernandinho worked the ball wide to Stevan Jovetic, who cut inside Walker and fired into the far corner with the help of a deflection off Chiriches.
It was five two minutes from time when Dzeko’s shot from the edge of the area following a cleared corner deflected off Bentaleb and fell straight to Kompany who tucked home from close range.
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose, Lennon, Dembele (Capoue 45), Bentaleb, Sigurdsson (Naughton 55), Eriksen (Holtby 84), Adebayor. Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Chadli, Defoe, Soldado.
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Silva (Kolarov 80), Toure (Nastasic 64), Fernandinho, Navas, Dzeko, Aguero (Jovetic 45). Substitutes (not used): Pantilimon, Lescott, Rodwell, Negredo.
Goals: Spurs – Capoue 59; City – Aguero 15, Toure penalty 51, Dzeko 54, Jovetic 78, Kompany 89.
Yellows: Spurs – Naughton; City – Toure, Demichelis, Aguero, Zabaleta.
Red: Spurs - Rose.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Venue: White Hart Lane, London
Referee: Mr A Marriner