City, for their part, were prone to futile individualism and too many basic tasks were neglected. There was no patience and barely any pattern. In consequence they contrived to exhaust themselves without taxing their opponents all that much. The pair of exciting runs that almost carried Carlos Tevez clear early in the evening were sources of false hope.
Sam Wallace, The Independent
On the night, far too many of those big money players did not deliver. The £25m Emmanuel Adebayor did not look anything like as good as the £9m Crouch. When it mattered Carlos Tevez faded and Kolo Touré looked shaky. For £274m investment, you cannot guarantee a place in the Champions League but it warrants a much better performance than this one.Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph
It felt a 90-minute memo to Roberto Mancini. If the Italian does cling to his job, then he must re-consider the logic of playing two holding midfielders at home, particularly in a game City had to win. Too cautious.
The one difference between the two systems, of course, was the nature of the wingers. City’s wrong-footed pair, Johnson and Bellamy, had to come inside or cut onto their stronger foot to get crosses in, making it difficult to create chances from this method, especially with Adebayor struggling. Tottenham’s, however, could more instinctively look up and swing balls in towards Crouch without disrupting the flow of the attack. Wrong-footed wingers have been arguably the tactical development of the season, but Tottenham’s proficiency from crosses tonight showed that the good old-fashioned method of playing lefties on the left, righties on the right and telling them to get the ball into the box is often the more effective tactic in a tense, scrappy game like this one.
Oliver Kay, The Times
The league table never lies. Even in this most topsy-turvy Barclays Premier League season, it has remained true to reality, which is why Tottenham Hotspur deserve their long-awaited crack at the Champions League, leaving Manchester City to reflect that there are some things that money cannot buy — at least not yet.