9 attempts, 8 on target, 4 goals. It was a stellar performance from Sergio Aguero. The Argentine striker took on all comers with his power, poise and clinical finishing. While he did miss a penalty, it is an easy blemish to gloss over as it was an outstanding performance. From a standing start inside the box, Aguero shifted the ball and unleashed a ferocious shot past Hugo Lloris to give his team the lead. Two converted penalties later, Aguero raced onto a ball, cut back on to his left-foot and fired home, leaving both Jan Vertonghen and Lloris sprawled out on The Etihad deck. With those four goals, the 26-year-old becomes Manchester City’s all-time top Premier League goal scorer with 59 goals, overtaking Carlos Tevez (58) in the process.
Last season, the Lillywhites conceded 27 goals against the top four, 11 of those goals came against City. A 1-1 draw with Arsenal, a 3-0 defeat by Liverpool, there is a distinct lack of wins and points being picked up in the big games. To their detriment, Spurs look to play expansive and attacking football against the Premier League’s best teams, and as seen in today’s game, they are picked off and their naivety is punished. While at Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino employed a high press to squeeze teams and it was employed at times against City. It ultimately left Spurs vulnerable as City used their speed and pace to good effect. This might be a tactic that Pochettino might want to put on hold for the moment. The tumultuous trend of negative results continues against the top four.
Manuel Pellegrini made six changes to the team that faced Aston Villa at the start of October, including Frank Lampard, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy, all of whom are veterans of the Premier League. While other teams rest influential players who have just returned from international duty, City have the luxury of calling upon their own international quality players to slot straight into their starting 11 – it’s a luxury not many other teams are afforded. Although Lampard played only 25 minutes, he had major effect on proceedings. The French duo of Sagna and Clichy are arguably the best back-up full-backs in the country. Pellegrini’s strength in depth will benefit them as they attempt to retain their Premier League trophy and look to go far in this seasons Champions League.
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