The gulf between the sides was tactical. City lacked a striker because Tevez felt that he had to head back into midfield to forage for the ball and only looked a force once Emmanuel Adebayor had arrived for the last eight minutes. Tottenham had a striker in Peter Crouch, whom Aaron Lennon found. World Cup hangover? It was as if South Africa had never happened.
Mancini’s defensive-minded formation will come in for some criticism, but one suspects he got the result he was looking for. The three central midfielders actually did their job rather well, but Tevez dropped too deep considering neither Silva nor Wright-Phillips were comfortable in becoming the temporary centre-forward when he did. Wright-Phillips wasted City’s best chance, through on goal with a bouncing ball, but he didn’t even manage to get a shot away.
Paul Wilson, The Observer
Hart won the first round of his goalkeeping battle with Shay Given and was kept busy for almost the entire first half, City rarely crossing the halfway line and taking something of a battering as a result. The visitors' £100m outlay does not appear to have bought them much style or shape. There was little width on show and an unbridgeable gap between their line of three defensive midfielders and their Subbuteo front three of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Carlos Tevez and David Silva. The newcomer from Spain must have spent the first half-hour wondering if he was going to spend the whole of his City career seeing so little of the ball.
Danny Pugsley, Bitter and Blue
Despite the first half struggles, the day was a positive one. Ending a wretched run at White Hart Lane, the side showed it possesses plenty of fortitude and appetite to battle out results. Undoubtedly there are improvements to be made, but these are not fundamental problems but more a need for the side to gel.
Steve Tongue, Independent on Sunday
In short, they looked nothing like a team. That was always a risk in introducing three new players (who had cost £85m) in David Silva, Yaya Touré and Aleksandar Kolarov after so little time together. More baffling was a formation in which Carlos Tevez was the only striker, with David Silva and Shaun Wright-Phillips alternating flanks.