Tim Sherwood said last night that Manchester City were “on a different planet” when it came to the rest of the Premier League after their 5-1 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane took City to the top of the table.
The Spurs manager said that referee Andre Marriner had been wrong to dismiss Danny Rose five minutes after half-time with his team trailing 1-0, but he suggested that City would have won the game nonetheless. On Rose's sending off for a challenge on Edin Dzeko, in which the left-back made contact with the ball, Sherwood said that referee Marriner had allowed himself to be influenced by assistant Scott Ledger.
He said: “The linesman jumped in and made the decision for him. It is hard enough when it is 11 v 11. They are on a different planet.”
He added: “I think Andre got it right initially when he called it as a corner but unfortunately for us the linesman decided that Andre got it wrong and he's given a penalty. It's obviously a last-ditch tackle and Danny's had to lunge in there a bit but he's having to because Dzeko is bearing down on goal. He clearly wins the ball.
“It made a difference to the scoreline. They [City] were excellent, weren't they? You have to hold your hands up. Even before the sending off, they worked around the pitch and they come at you from all angles and this team are the best team in the league by a country mile.
“Without question, in my opinion, these are the [future] champions of the league. And unfortunately for everyone they play, they don't just score one and then shut up shop, do they? They keep coming at you and if anyone is going to win the league, you want someone like this team to go on and win it because they entertain, they push on.
“It's not great for an opposition manager, believe me, but they just put you to the sword and that's how football should be played, in my opinion.”
The Spurs manger said that the Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, a target for his club and Liverpool, was a player was aware of but for now, “nothing was being done”. He said that he wanted to keep the likes of Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue who have sought moves way from the club this month.
He said: “To be fair the chairman [Daniel Levy] is always asking if there is anybody I need. I want to make sure if we are bringing anyone in they are of the quality to improve the team and not just a body coming in for the sake of it. He [the potential new signing] would have to settle as well. That's very difficult. I would be very cautious about doing anything.”
Asked whether the club were interested in re-signing Dimitar Berbatov from Fulham, he said: “I've seen us being linked to a few players. He's obviously a good player but I don't see that happening.”
The City manager Manuel Pellegrini denied that the red card had been decisive in the game's outcome. He said: “I don't think it was a big decision because before that happened, we missed at least five clear chances. If we review the first 45 minutes I don't remember one chance for Tottenham. We were the best team.
“It was a clear penalty and a clear red card, he was the last man. I don't analyse the referee. I just said we depend on what we do in every match. We still have to fight for 45 points more.”
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