Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor said it was “literally two hands” from Spurs forward Rosella Ayane which 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 equalised before there was a clear handball from Ayane in the build-up to an 86th-minute winner.
“It’s pretty incredible that we’ve not had that chalked off,” said Taylor.
“We should have been out of sight by the time it gets to that and it should have been a consolation for them. But at the end of the day, it’s something we don’t want to happen.
“We want to improve the standards across the board. There were a few dodgy decisions tonight and that was certainly one of them.
“If the officials were to see that back, I’m pretty certain they would say the goal shouldn’t have stood. I don’t think it was one hand. It was literally two hands.”
Last weekend there were a number of controversial decisions in the WSL, with Taylor among those supporting the introduction of goalline technology and video assistant referees.
However, the City boss said officials “did not need the third eye” to see Ayane’s handball.
“It completely put Steph Houghton off clearing the ball. It doesn’t help us,” he added.
“We had it last season – the handball down at 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 contentious decisions that have happened in the game.”
The defeat was an upset to Manchester City’s title challenge this season and capped off a disappointing week which saw them crash out of the Women’s Champions League in the qualifying stage to Real Madrid.
They had been dominant in the first half – Hemp and Janine Beckie causing problems out wide, while Georgia Stanway hit the post before the break.
But despite taking the lead through Hemp’s sixth-minute header, City failed to capitalise on their opportunities and Tottenham started brightly in the second half.
The visitors got the breakthrough when Williams reacted to slot in Chioma Ubogagu’s cut-back and could have gone ahead when Jessica Naz fired wide following a mistake from City defender Alanna Kennedy.
The extraordinary scenes followed when Ayane clearly touched the ball with her outstretched arms as it was curled into the box. It bounced off City captain Steph Houghton before hitting the post then rolling over the line off the back of goalkeeper Taieb.
City players protested heavily in front of a stunned home crowd, but Tottenham held on to pick up their second victory of the season.
“I thought we earned an opportunity,” said Tottenham boss Rehanne Skinner when asked about the incident.
“Obviously we’ve created a crossing situation and from that we’ve managed to take an opportunity against a team who are tough to break down.
“We created several chances in that phase of the game so I thought we earned it. From what I’ve seen, it looked like Ros [Ayane] tried to head it and then we’ve had a shot.”
Man City Women
- 14MorganBooked at 11minsSubstituted forAngeldalat 15′minutes
- 33KennedySubstituted forShawat 73′minutes
- 11BeckieSubstituted forParkat 62′minutes
- 3ZadorskySubstituted forHarropat 90+5′minutes
- 29NevilleBooked at 90mins
- 4GreenSubstituted forUbogaguat 45′minutes
- 7NazSubstituted forAddisonat 82′minutes
- 17SimonSubstituted forGrahamat 61′minutes
- 10WilliamsSubstituted forAyaneat 81′minutes
- Abigail Byrne
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.
Foul by Maéva Clemaron (Tottenham Hotspur Women).
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Kerys Harrop replaces Shelina Zadorsky because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Ellen White (Manchester City Women) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Georgia Stanway.
Foul by Lauren Hemp (Manchester City Women).
Asmita Ale (Tottenham Hotspur Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Ellen White (Manchester City Women) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lauren Hemp.
Attempt saved. Khadija Shaw (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre 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.
Foul by 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 centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lauren Hemp with a cross.
Attempt missed. Filippa Angeldal (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Angela Addison replaces Jessica Naz because of an injury.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur Women. Rosella Ayane replaces Rachel Williams.
Vicky Losada (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.