Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas defended benching red-hot Jermain Defoe for defeat at Manchester City.

Villas-Boas was criticised by former Spurs men Glenn Hoddle and Jamie Redknapp for his bizarre decision to axe Defoe.

The England forward bagged a hat-trick in midweek against Maribor in the Europa League but had to make way for Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor at the Etihad.

He said: "It was very difficult to leave Jermain out. It was part of the strategy we had for the game.

"Individually Adebayor had a good performance. I think Jermain understood it was for the best of the team."