Home » EPL, Featured, Latest » Match Report: Man City 6 Tottenham 0

The scoreline doesn’t lie. Manchester City’s attacking was as quick, incisive and ruthless as Tottenham Hotspur’s defending was abject.

Jesus Navas started and ended the rout, Sergio Aguero scored twice, Sandro conceded an own goal and Alvaro Negredo brutally added another. So much for Spurs’ reputation for keeping the backdoor locked. City stormed through.

When Spurs were defending strongly earlier in the season, Roberto Soldado’s travails in front of goal, certainly from open play, were less of an issue.

The fact remain that Aguero’s double took him to 10 league goals for the season more than Spurs have managed in total. Soldado cut a forlorn figure long before taken off by Andre Villas-Boas; the service was limited, particularly from Erik Lamela who is clearly taking time to settle in English football. Too often, Lamela was dispossessed by Fernandinho and Gael Clichy, amongst others.

There will be question-marks about Villas-Boas’ open tactics, about his purchases but he is still bedding in a team and City were irresistible as they moved fourth in the Premier League.

Aguero was exceptional. Samir Nasri departed to a standing ovation. Navas took his goals beautifully. If Manuel Pellegrini’s side can translate this sort of prolific form to games away from the Etihad, they will continue to accelerate up the table.

Pellegrini had written in his programme notes about City having “scored three, five, and seven in our last three home games’’, adding that “I’m pretty sure we’ll not be able to continue that numerical sequence!’’ His players started as if they felt affronted by his words.

They scored after 14 seconds through Navas, the second quickest goal in the Premier League this season after Asmir Begovic’s long-ranger after 13 seconds for Stoke City against Southampton. City’s players looked as if they were hunting to continue that home sequence. As they rattled in their goals, City fans began to slip into party mood, singing Blue Moon and doing the Poznan.

City’s hugely comfortable win was assisted by some shocking defending by the visitors. City’s opener stemmed from a rare mistake by the usually reliable Hugo Lloris, who had kept seven clean sheets in his previous 11 Premier League games. Taking a pass-back from Younes Kaboul, the French goalkeeper miscued his clearance, placing Michael Dawson under pressure.

Aguero was lurking, nicking the ball and bringing a save from Lloris. The keeper retreated to his line as Navas collected the loose ball. The angle was tight and Lloris was clearly expecting a cross but Navas elegantly lofted the ball over the Spurs keeper. Lloris stretched his right hand up but Navas had judged it superbly. The ball continued in its arc, progressing across in front of the City fans, and then in front of the alarmed faces of the away section, before touching the post and dropping inside: 1-0.

Spurs never recovered. They attacked down the flanks with pace and occasional promise but were too open in the centre, too defensively vulnerable. Aaron Lennon briefly showed down the left, releasing Kyle Walker, whose low cross should have been cut out by Martin Demichelis.

The ageing defender failed to cut out the ball, Costel Pantilimon got a touch, diverting it to Lamela. The Argentinian’s shot was not struck firmly enough and Demichelis was on the line to clear. Lamela was working the left, facing a considerable challenge in trying to elude his canny compatriot, Pablo Zabaleta. Some of Spurs’ few decent left-sided surges came from the overlapping Jan Vertonghen.

The pace was astonishing, the ball spirited from end to end in a blur, particularly when heading towards the away goal. Aguero soon cut in from the left, played a 1-2 with Negredo and then ran through one-on-one with Lloris. Aguero tried to dink the ball over him but Lloris read his intentions and saved.

City then appealed for a penalty. Running on to Negredo’s pass, Samir Nasri thought he had a clear run at goal until Sandro slid in with a tackle that dislodged the ball away from under the Frenchman’s feet. Nasri looked bemused by Howard Webb’s decision to play on. City were terrific going forward. Aguero went on a drive down the left, making light of Sandro’s foul, racing away from Dawson before a furious Walker raced back to clear.

Pellegrini’s side were on top but their defence was not always convincing in the first half, even with Yaya Toure and Fernandinho shielding them. Pantilimon was again in goal, keeping Joe Hart again on the bench. What little the Romanian had to do he did well.

Pantilimon was only intermittently threatened. Soldado’s body language hardly declared great self-belief when shooting wide. Lennon then showed his quick feet, turning Clichy, skipping past Fernandinho but City cleared. Vertonghen then wriggled through but Pantilimon saved.

City simply stamped their foot on the accelerator again. Again they were helped on their way to goal. Again Lloris’ shoddy kick was picked off. Nasri went down the left, lifting the ball in to Aguero, whose shot was pushed away by Lloris. Negredo leapt up, meeting the ball athletically, sending a volley goalwards. It hit Kaboul and went in off Sandro: 2-0.

Aguero soon had the goal his persistence and scampering elegance deserved. When Zabaleta played the ball behind Spurs’ defence, exploiting Vertonghen’s forward focus, Navas ran into space and crossed for the unmarked Aguero to side-foot home: 3-0. Once again, Aguero’s movement had been too quick and clever for Spurs’ centre-halves, Kaboul and Dawson.

Villas-Boas had to change the system, presenting City with more of a threat. He sent on Emmanuel Adebayor, who is still having the majority of his wages paid by City, to give Soldado some support. Lewis Holtby was withdrawn. Sandro dropped even deeper in front of Spurs’ stricken back-four. It was a slight surprise to see Sandro still involved following his booking for that foul on Aguero and subsequent offences.

City had also made a change with Joleon Lescott, who didn’t put a foot wrong, replacing Matija Nastasic. Nothing changed with the game. City remained in charge. Toure charged through, showing too much strength for Walker, and then squaring the ball to Aguero, who fired the ball unerringly past Lloris: 4-0.

City were now rampant. Nasri chipped the ball onto the bar. Negredo, feeding off a drilled ball through the middle from Fernandinho, embarrassed Dawson with his movement, spinning away from the centre half and then thumping the ball past Lloris: 5-0.

Villas-Boas was an increasingly frustrated figure in the away dugout. His team were being ripped apart. That vaunted defence was being dismantled. He took off the ineffectual Soldado, sending on Gylfi Sigurdsson. A penny for the thoughts of Jermain Defoe, who was sitting behind Villas-Boas. Mousa Dembele came on for Paulinho.

Adebayor ran hard for a defeated side, even bringing a low save from Pantilimon. “Adebayor … what’s the score?” inquired the City fans. Some Spurs supporters made an early exit but the majority stayed, some chanting “we’re going to win 6-5” and a few celebrating wildly when they won a corner.

There was a sixth. James Milner, covering in the left back position after a Lamela run again came to nothing, drilled the ball right-footed into Spurs’ half. Vertonghen misjudged it. Navas didn’t. The Spanish flier, so quick he once broke a running machine, sprinted through and placed the ball past the stunned Lloris: 6-0. Webb’s final whistle soon ended the misery for Spurs and starting the inquests. But few could have lived with Navas, Aguero, Negredo and company today.

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.