Bacary Sagna blamed Manchester City’s defeat to Spurs on the awarding of an offside equaliser to the hosts, ignoring the fact City’s opener should also have been ruled out.
Having gone ahead through Kevin de Bruyne’s first-half goal from an offside position, City were on the stroke of taking a promising lead into half-time when Eric Dier equalised despite Kyle Walker being clearly offside in the build-up to him doing so.
The balance of play thereafter shifted in Tottenham’s favour, who scored three times as the visitors disappointed throughout the second half, and Sagna, also revealing a concern that City had previously been over-confident in their chances of success this season, believes the decision to allow Dier’s goal to stand to have been crucial.
“I think it changed the game,” Sagna said. “It’s not an excuse but we were in control of the game, we managed to score, play well, as a team, to be compact and to create some chances. We should have killed the game.
“When we conceded that goal [it was] just before half-time, but it’s not the reason to come back sloppy in the second half.
“It was 1-1, we had to keep playing as a team, keep communicating. We lost too many duels on the pitch and against good players you can’t do that.
“Everyone was upset [at the equalising goal]. We gave a lot to be 1-0 up and then to concede a stupid goal. Up until then we had done quite well so it was a bit frustrating.
“We had to keep playing as a team, keep some composure and we didn’t have it. We were too nice.
“Maybe we have shown too much confidence. We had to keep working hard if we want to stay on top. We know we have the quality players to make a difference, we know we are a good team, we know we can be champions.
“But you also have to work well before you know that, to keep working hard. We had a good start, we want to keep positive.”
City on Wednesday travel to Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League before hosting Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday ahead of the international football break.
Sagna, who insisted in 2014 after joining the club from Arsenal that he had done so to fulfil his ambition of winning trophies, has also urged his team-mates to swiftly revive their pursuit of the Premier League title.
“There are more big games coming,” he said. “On Wednesday we have another game, different competition but we have to win, we have to keep playing as a team and I’m confident that we’re going to do it.
“First of all, we need to think about the Champions League game because we must think game by game. But of course, Newcastle will be a decisive game before going with the national team.
“It’s important to keep sending a message to the other teams that we want to be champions, we want to stay focused until the end and we want to finish as champions.”