Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor said it was “literally two hands” from Spurs striker Rosella Ayane that helped them grab a controversial late winner in the Women’s Super League.
City, who suffered their first league defeat at home since April 2018, had led through Lauren Hemp’s header.
Rachel Williams equalized before there was a clear handball from Ayane in the build-up to a winner in the 86th minute.
“It’s pretty incredible that we haven’t had it descaled,” Taylor said.
“We should have been out of sight when it got there, and it should have been a consolation to them. But in the end, it’s something we do not want to happen.
“We want to improve standards across the board. There were a few questionable decisions tonight and that was certainly one of them.
“If the officials were to look it back, I’m pretty sure they would say the target shouldn’t have stood. I don’t think it was a hand. It was literally two hands.”
Last weekend, there were a number of controversial decisions in the WSL, with Taylor among them supporting the introduction of goal technology and video assistant referees.
The city boss, however, said officials “did not need the third eye” to watch Ayane’s handball.
“It completely interrupted Steph Houghton from clearing the ball. It does not help us,” he added.
“We had it last season – the handball down in Chelsea that went against us, the penalty here against Chelsea that was never a penalty …
“We’re only in round two and there’s been some pretty controversial decisions in the game.”
The defeat was a disruption to Manchester City’s title challenge this season and ended a disappointing week in which they blasted out of the Women’s Champions League in the qualifying phase for Real Madrid.
They had been dominant in the first half – Hamp and Janine Beckie caused problems outside, while Georgia Stanway hit the post before the break.
But despite taking the lead through Hemp’s sixth-minute header, City failed to capitalize on their chances and Tottenham started brightly in the second half.
The visitors got the breakthrough when Williams reacted to castle in the Chioma Ubogagus cut and could have gone ahead when Jessica Naz fired wide after a foul by City defender Alanna Kennedy.
The extraordinary scenes followed as Ayane clearly touched the ball with her outstretched arms as it curled into the box. It bounced off City captain Steph Houghton before hitting the post and then rolling across the line behind goalkeeper Taieb.
City players protested loudly in front of a stunned home crowd, but Tottenham held on to pick up their second win of the season.
“I thought we deserved a chance,” Tottenham boss Rehanne Skinner said when asked about the incident.
“It is clear that we have created a crossing situation, and based on that we have managed to take a chance against a team that is difficult to collapse.
“We created more chances in that phase of the match, so I thought we had earned it. From what I’ve seen, it looked like Praise [Ayane] tried to lead it and then we got a shot. “
Man City Women
- 14MorganBooked after 11 minutesReplaced forAngeldalon 15 ‘minutes
- 33KennedyReplaced forShawon 73 ‘minutes
- 11BeckieReplaced forParkon 62 ‘minutes
- 3ZadorskyReplaced forHarropon 90 + 5 ‘minutes
- 29NevilleReserved in 90 minutes
- 4GreenReplaced forUbogaguon 45 ‘minutes
- 7influenceReplaced forAddisonon 82 ‘minutes
- 17SimonReplaced forGrahamon 61 ‘minutes
- 10WilliamsReplaced forAyaneon 81 ‘minutes
- Abigail Byrne
The match ends, Manchester City Women 1, Tottenham Hotspur Women 2.
Second half ends, Manchester City Women 1, Tottenham Hotspur Women 2.
Ashleigh Neville (Tottenham Hotspur Women) is shown the yellow card.
Vicky Losada (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Error from Maéva Clemaron (Tottenham Hotspur Women).
Change, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Kerys Harrop replaces Shelina Zadorsky because of an injury.
Try missing. Ellen White (Manchester City Women) header from the center of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Georgia Stanway.
Error by Lauren Hemp (Manchester City Women).
Asmita Ale (Tottenham Hotspur Women) wins a free kick in his own half.
Try missing. Ellen White (Manchester City Women) header from very close range is close, but goes to the left of the goal. Assisted by Lauren Hemp.
Attempt saved. Khadija Shaw (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Filippa Angeldal.
Corner, Manchester City Women. Conceded by Ashleigh Neville.
Own goal by Karima Benameur, Manchester City Women. Manchester City Women 1, Tottenham Hotspur Women 2.
Error from Vicky Losada (Manchester City women).
Rosella Ayane (Tottenham Hotspur Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Ellen White (Manchester City Women) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lauren Hemp with a cross.
Try missing. Filippa Angeldal (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from the center of the box is slightly too high.
Change, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Angela Addison replaces Jessica Naz due to an injury.
Change, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Rosella Ayane replaces Rachel Williams.
Vicky Losada (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick in his own half.