Manchester City assistant manager David Platt has hailed the composure of Mario Balotelli after the Italian netted a stoppage-time penalty to give the Premier League leaders a vital 3-2 victory over Tottenham.
The striker was fouled in the 94th minute by Spurs skipper Ledley King and had no qualms taking the spot-kick himself, coolly slotting the ball past Brad Friedel to give City the three points.
After the game, Platt told reporters: “He is not afraid to take penalties, he is willing to miss. He is a very, very cool penalty taker and I was confident he would put it away and not let the occasion get to him.”
Balotelli had been involved in controversy earlier in the match as Spurs claimed he stamped on the head of midfielder Scott Parker following challenge between the pair.
However, Platt claimed he hadn’t seen conclusive evidence of the episode yet and feels watching live there was little in it.
He added: “To be honest I have not seen the incident. I certainly didn’t think there was anything in it watching live. If there was something, different angles on TV can show different things.”
Platt also reflected on a sensational second half in which five goals were scored as City went into a two-nil lead only for the visitors to fight back before cruelly losing out in dying seconds.
The assistant boss insisted that at two-two the game was anyone’s to win but expressed his delighted that his side prevailed.
He said: “It was an amazing game. The first 45 minutes was very tactical but we managed to get our noses in front at 2-0. Regardless of the fact it’s a great victory, the manager is not happy with the gift of the first goal. It was a lapse in concentration.
“We gifted it to them and the manager has made it clear in no uncertain terms in the dressing room. The second 45 minutes can be summed up in that last two minutes. We thought we were dead and buried and Defoe was going to put it into an empty net.
“I think the pressure would have been on Manchester United regardless of the result here. There are still plenty of games left and plenty of points to go for. It’s a great victory but the value is still three points.”