Defoe concentrates on City positives

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Jermain Defoe is keen to focus on the positives following Tottenham Hotspur's late defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

After going two-down in the second half, through Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott goals, Spurs rallied as Defoe and Gareth drew the visitors level.

But the England forward spurned the opportunity to grab a stoppage time winner for the north Londoners, only for Mario Balotelli to tuck away a penalty merely minute later, breaking Tottenham hearts.

"I still think we can look up," said Defoe.

"There are a lot of positives we can take out of the game. In the second half we were the better side. They are a great team and to come to places like this is difficult – not many teams come here and get points. And we were really unlucky.

"If you look at their second goal, for example, Scott Parker blocked it against Joleon [Lescott], who didn't even know where the ball was, and it went in.

"That's the luck they got, as well as a last-minute penalty."

One defeat in the Premier League since August's emphatic loss at the hands of City at White Hart Lane had propelled Harry Redknapp's side into contention for the Barclays Premier League title, unknown territory for a side whose priorities usually lie in qualifying for the Champions League.

The game at the Etihad Stadium was build as a true test of Spurs' title credentials, and while they fell short, Defoe is proud of how they kept pace with the league leaders.

"I am feeling gutted but we were the better side after half-time, creating more chances and keeping the ball to hit them on the counterattack.

"We were unfortunate not to get a point or even win the game. We showed a lot of character to come back from 2-0 down. It was unbelievable. When I got the goal it came at a good time for us and then Gareth Bale's strike was unbelievable.

"We started to believe we were going to win the game. We put them under pressure, pressed them high up the pitch – there was great energy from the boys and it was just unfortunate we didn't win."

The 29-year-old Defoe, who has 119 career goals for Spurs, has the chance to take all three points for Redknapp's side late on, when Bale's cross found the England international all alone, but his diving effort dribbled agonisingly wide.

"I just couldn't reach it," Defoe lamented. "Those ones can be difficult sometimes because, when Gareth made the cross, he had to play it in front of me rather than straight and I just couldn't reach it. It is not going to play on my mind. If I had longer legs then I would have scored, that's all.

"As soon as I made the run I thought it was a goal," he told Spurs' official website. "I had to stretch, reach the ball and hook it back, but I couldn't quite reach it.

"Even then I thought we’d get the point and that the lads had done brilliantly, but the last-minute penalty followed and it was all over.

"There were a lot of positives to take out of it. It was an unbelievable performance and the lads were devastated. Not many teams will go to City and perform how we did. We’ll keep going, we’ve big games coming up and I think they are games we can win."

Tottenham Hotspur
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