Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Tottenham 1 Man City 5

It was the look in Joe Hart’s eyes as he ran down the tunnel at the end, the look of a dedicated professional who has total belief in his team-mates’ ability to sweep opponents aside. It was the look of a man who knew Manchester City have become an irresistible force and was going to do everything to keep that momentum rolling, rolling towards the title. City are on a mission, burning with a hunger to reclaim the Premier League trophy.

Their celebrations with their supporters at the final whistle showed their delight in this important victory, a result that took them to the top of the Premier League, that paraded their prolific qualities, that demonstrated again the subtle playmaking of David Silva and that sent a warning to their rivals: catch us if you can. It is City’s cutting edge, their depth and breadth of attacking options and their resilience in midfield, where Fernandinho was superb at the Lane, and at the back where Vincent Kompany is such a leader and Hart rejuvenated behind him.

There is a camaraderie to City under Manuel Pellegrini, an enjoyment of his attacking philosophy and his enlightened man-management.

Above all, it is the goals. Sergio Agüero began the scoring, Yaya Touré added a controversial penalty, Edin Dzeko claimed a third before Stevan Jovetic and Kompany finished off Spurs.

Tim Sherwood’s Tottenham Hotspur side were enraged by some awful decision-making by Andre Marriner and his assistant, Scott Ledger, particularly a disallowed goal and the Touré penalty which saw Danny Rose dismissed. But City were a class apart. And Alvaro Negredo did not even set foot on the field.

Even when City suffered an injury, and Agüero hobbled away with a hamstring injury, Pellegrini was simply able to send on Jovetic, who scored his first Premier League goal since his £22 million move from Fiorentina. Having struggled with injuries, the Montenegrin has found fitness at a timely moment, maintaining the momentum.

City have now recorded eight wins on the spin in the league, have amassed 68 goals in their 23 games in the competition, and even a slowing of the goal rush will still allow them to pass 100 for the season.

In the league. City’s goal difference is currently +42, comfortably ahead of second-placed Arsenal with +24, third-placed Chelsea (+23) and the Liverpool of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge (+29).

Chelsea visit the Etihad on Monday night and their head coach, Jose Mourinho, will need to be at his tactical best to stop, or even slow, the City goal machine.

Even with the full-backs Gaël Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta often pushing on, City defended resolutely, although Martin Demichelis lacks the mobility of Matija Nastasic. Emmanuel Adebayor ran hard, looking for chances, trying to close down City’s defenders but they were too disciplined, too organised, too determined.

That look in Hart’s eyes confirmed City meant business.

Having amassed 16 points from a possible 18 in their last six Premier League outings, Spurs felt confident as they kicked off against City but the size of the task was soon apparent, even before their frustration mounted over the decisions of Marriner and his officials. City were almost unplayable for half an hour.

Silva floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, really hurting Spurs with some of his passes. The Spaniard pulled the strings, moving in from the left, and either looking for the flying Clichy on the overlap out wide or touching the ball behind Spurs’ defence for the runs of Aguero or Dzeko.

Spurs were so much on the back-foot they were almost on the North Circular. Agüero struck the post before opening the scoring after 15 minutes. Silva’s pass to Agüero was perfect, the ball delivered on the run with the outside of his left boot, weighted to elude Michael Dawson and Rose. Agüero calmly — inevitably — scored, lifting the ball back in over Hugo Lloris from a tightening angle. It was his 50th goal in 81 Premier League games, becoming the fifth quickest to the half-century of goals behind Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Fernando Torres.

Aguero would have had his 51st but for Lloris’s reflexes as City simply poured forward again.

Pellegrini’s commitment to attack was one of the reasons why City turned to him to replace the more defensively minded Roberto Mancini. Silva was again the catalyst, playing Clichy down the left, the Frenchman’s sudden change of pace totally deceiving Kyle Walker. Clichy cut the ball back, picking out Agüero, whose header arrowed towards the net until Lloris stretched out his left hand and somehow pushed the ball to safety.

Spurs did improve, did acquaint themselves with the ball, but unfortunately found Marriner in unforgiving mood.

Christian Eriksen curled in a free-kick on the left. Adebayor tried to get a touch, but the ball carried on towards the far-post where Dawson volleyed it in. Tottenham’s celebrations were short-lived as the assistant referee Ledger, signalled for offside by Dawson when he was onside. The margin was incredibly tight but Spurs’ frustration was understandable. City, in contrast, could have pointed to Adebayor being in an offside position and arguably interfering.

It looked harsh on Tottenham, and their mood turned as filthy as the weather six minutes into the second half. Rose managed to stretch out a toe and flick the ball away from Dzeko before his momentum brought contact with the Bosnian, who fell to the floor. Marriner did not look ready to give the penalty but Ledger signalled the offence. As Spurs despaired, as Rose trudged away, Touré put the ball on the spot and then drilled it past Lloris.

It got worse for Spurs two minutes later. Silva wriggled his way into some space but his shot was pushed on to the post by Lloris.

Dzeko, reacting quickest, burying the loose ball. Yet Spurs showed real character, their 10 angry men forcing a corner which Eriksen swept into the box, leading to Etienne Capoue shooting left-footed past Hart.

Spurs fans let rip, willing their team to attempt an unlikely comeback.

With 12 minutes remaining, however, Fernandinho charged through the middle, before playing the ball left to Jovetic, whose right-footed shot clipped the hugely unconvincing Vlad Chiriches on its way into the net. When Kompany pounced late on, Spurs’ misery was complete.

By the end, the City fans were taunting Spurs’ No10 with “Adebayor, what’s the score?” He played well but lacked service against his parent club. At the final whistle, Adebayor was one of the first to congratulate Pellegrini. City’s manager deserved the salute. The look in Hart’s eyes moments later also told of City’s desire for this title.

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