Tottenham 1 Man City 5: Three talking points
Tottenham 1 Man City 5: Three talking points as the Citizens are emphatic winners at White Hart Lane
Prolific Aguero, wasteful Dzeko
Much has been said about the Manchester City attack over recent weeks as Manuel Pellegrini’s side have scored goals for fun. Their 100th goal in all competitions was scored by Edin Dzeko against Cardiff earlier this month, but the Bosnian striker suffered a somewhat tougher night at White Hart Lane. Dzeko mishit four glorious chances throughout the one-sided affair, and were it not for his goal, he could have expected to feel the wrath of his manager. His movement and awareness was excellent, but after bringing the ball onto his chest, he managed to twice slash across the ball and fire over the net. Added to an earlier chance when he slipped past Kyle Walker and decided to go for goal instead of squaring to the onrushing Sergio Augero and Yaya Toure, Dzeko had a disappointing night. Conversley, Aguero returned to the starting lineup with aplomb, replacing the blistering Alvaro Negredo and making his impact from the first whistle. The Argentinian hit the post with an effort reminiscent of his goal at Old Trafford last season before dinking past Hugo Lloris 10 minutes later to score in his eighth consecutive game. Lloris denied him soon after with a wonderful save, but Aguero’s contribution was telling, as was his form – picking up from where he left off. City will be sweating on the 25-year-old’s fitness after he withdrew just before half-time with a hamstring tweak.
Eleventh heaven for City
City are an absolute rampant joy to watch for the neutral, but Spurs fans must be sick of the sight of them. Following November’s 6-0 thrashing which ultimately cost Andre Villas-Boas his job, City proved it wasn’t a one-off, putting five past AVB’s successor Tim Sherwood to add salt to the wounds. It was as professional and clinical a job as you’ll see all season, and even then it could have been much worse for Tottenham. Aguero’s solitary goal was the difference at the break, but all Tottenham’s hard work was undermined early into the second half when Danny Rose was wrongfully sent off and City awarded a penalty. The floodgates opened after Toure converted the spot-kick, with Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany all beating Lloris. The five scored at White Hart Lane tallied City up to 68 in the Premier League, and the speed, fluidity and prolific nature of their attacks will terrify their opposition.
Promising signs for Spurs
As great as City were, it’s not all doom and gloom for Spurs. The promising signs that have begun to show under Sherwood were there for all to see, as Tottenham rode the City attack for all of half and hour. Emmanuel Adebayor, back from the brink, looked lively, and Spurs just couldn’t carve out the kind of attack to threaten Joe Hart in the City goal. When they did eventually have the ball in the back of the net, Michael Dawson was wrongfully ruled offside after making a darting run at the back post. The hosts’ capitulation in the second half can be pinpointed to another questionable decision by the officials, as Rose was shown a straight red card from bringing down Dzeko in the box. Rose’s challenge was lunging, but replay’s showed he did stretch and get the ball, though there was ambiguity over whether he caught the City striker first. Sherwood were be pleased with Spurs’ initial resilience to the Manchester machine, and a spot in Europe shouldn’t be too ambitious a target just yet.