Hughes feels heat as City are exposed by Kranjcar

Spurs make up ground on elite with convincing 3-0 win over woeful opponents at White Hart Lane

Mark Hughes admitted last night that his Manchester City team had "no excuses" after they crashed to a woeful 3-0 defeat to Tottenham that leaves them six points adrift of the Champions League places and heaps pressure on their manager once again.

Hughes struggled to defend his players, especially the dismal Robinho and Emmanuel Adebayor, who barely put up a fight in what could prove a crucial game in the battle for the fourth Champions League place. With Arsenal only drawing 1-1 at Burnley, it was Tottenham in fifth place who seized the chance to make up ground on the established elite of English football.

Harry Redknapp's team were impressive, none more so than Niko Kranjcar, who scored twice, and the winger Aaron Lennon. Jermain Defoe scored Tottenham's second goal and Spurs are now within two points of fourth place. The home fans sang, "You're getting sacked in the morning," as Hughes faced up to a run of 10 league games with only one victory for his City team.

Hughes, who will now be without the injured Joleon Lescott for up to eight weeks, said: "We are disappointed. We didn't really have any kind of level. I thought we started brightly enough and in the first 30 minutes we took the game to them, possession-wise. But in terms of producing a real threat we weren't creating a great deal."

Hughes said that he had been unaware that Robinho had walked straight down the tunnel after he was substituted. "We didn't keep the pressure off our back four and they could not cope with the threat of [Peter] Crouch and Defoe," he said. "We didn't produce what we are capable of. There are no excuses. You can say we missed some personnel and we lacked width but there are no excuses."

Cesc Fabregas scored for Arsenal last night before going off injured with a hamstring problem that will keep him out of Saturday's game against Hull. A penalty from Graham Alexander meant that Arsène Wenger's side failed to take all three points. Frank Lampard scored a penalty to give Chelsea a 2-1 win over Portsmouth to go three points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

Wenger was damning of the Premier League for putting Wolverhampton Wanderers in a position where they played a B team against Manchester United on Tuesday night. The Arsenal manager blamed the chaos of the fixture schedule.

Wenger said: "It's sad but what can I do about that? I'm responsible for Arsenal. We'll compete with Manchester United over 37 games instead of 38. I believe it's a problem for the international credibility of the Premier League for sure, but it's not my problem.

"The Premier League has a basic problem in organising the fixtures in a normal way. The guy who organised the fixtures must have come out of a special school and he's more intelligent than I am. They organised midweek games in a week where there's Europa League and that means that some teams will not play in midweek.

"Next week is a free week and there's no European football. There are some teams that don't play at all and we play Sunday, Wednesday away and at home on Saturday against Hull, who haven't played all week. It's also damaging for Burnley. You know from the start that some teams won't be capable of playing on the day that you've organised the fixtures. For me it's difficult to understand but maybe they have a different logic."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'