English Premiership

Hart slams City after Spurs flop

2013-04-22 17:46
Joe Hart (AFP)

London - Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart admits his team can have few complaints about losing the Premier League crown after their lacklustre title defence was summed up by a second-half meltdown in their 3-1 defeat at Tottenham.

Roberto Mancini's team were on course for a victory at White Hart Lane on Sunday that would have delayed Manchester United's title celebrations for at least one more week.

But, despite controlling most of the match, City collapsed in the closing stages as Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale scored within the space of seven minutes to stun the champions.

United can now clinch their 20th English league title with a win over struggling Aston Villa later on Monday and England star Hart knows he and his team-mates have only themselves to blame.

"We took the lead and didn't kick on from there. Second half we just kind of existed and paid the price," Hart told City TV.

"I just thought we took our foot off the gas and you can't do that.

"Spurs have got a lot to play for and congratulations to them but I'm not really interested in them."

It has been suggested that the exertions of a busy recent schedule could have contributed to City's struggles at White Hart Lane.

But Hart denied that fatigue was an issue, pointing out that the team's early exit from the Champions League should have kept the team fresh.

"No, we can't complain of that," he said. "We messed up in Europe and we have had plenty of weeks rest so I don't think that is what it is down to. It was just a poor second half."

City hoped they had ended United's domination of Manchester when they won the league in dramatic fashion 12 months ago.

But they are back in their neighbours' shadow again, with the FA Cup final against Wigan next month their only remaining hope of silverware.

However, Hart is sure City will recover for the last few games of the season with the prospect of playing in the Cup final an incentive to stay motivated.

"We will bounce back easily, it is what we do," Hart said.

"We have proved that many a time. We have a big game coming up (against West Ham).

"It is always good to win at home and we have got the FA Cup final that all the boys are trying to win their spots for."

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