Although Tottenham Hotspur benefited from two offside goals in their come-from-behind victory over Manchester City in the English Premier League at White Hart Lane on Saturday, City manager Manuel Pellegrini said his team were just as responsible for the defeat as the officials.
The Spurs produced their best football of the season to hand City their second consecutive EPL loss, after being beaten 2-1 by West Ham United last week.
Both Pellegrini and Spurs’ manager Mauricio Pochettino agreed that Spurs’ first and third goals involved clear offsides, but Pellegrini accepted his team’s role in the defeat. “Part of the reason for goals is the referee’s mistake, but another part is the mistake of our defence. We played well in the first half but not in the second half,” he told a news conference afterwards.
“My mentality is not to try to have excuses. The two offside goals were very important because the first one was their equaliser and the next one made it 3-1, but it’s part of the game and when you lose 4-1 it’s not just about the referee’s mistake.”
Pochettino, delighted with his team’s fightback after losing to arch-rivals Arsenal in the League Cup on Wednesday, added: “When I was at Southampton, we lost 4-1 to City and two of their goals were offside, but this is football. I am delighted we won.”
City were without injured goalkeeper Joe Hart, captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder David Silva and lost Yaya Toure with a hamstring injury in the second half although they still dominated the first half and took a 25th-minute lead on a breakaway goal from record signing Kevin de Bruyne.
Spurs equalised through Erik Dier on the stroke of halftime although Kyle Walker was clearly offside in the buildup.
Toby Alderweireld headed Spurs ahead in the 50th minute before Kane, in an offside position, ended his drought when he swept home in the 61st minute after a Christian Eriksen freekick rebounded off the bar.
“I am very pleased Harry Kane scored his first goal of the season for us,” Pochettino said. “It was a very important goal for him and a very important result for us.”