Manchester City extended their perfect home record in the Premier League to six games with a 6-0 demolition of Tottenham.
City have had problems on the road, but the Etihad has provided home comforts, and they were much too good for Spurs.
Atrocious first half from Spurs back five. Early xmas pressies for Man City, who have been gift-wrapped all 3 goals.— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) November 24, 2013
Tottenham were the architects of their own downfall if truth be told, as keeper Hugo Lloris gifted City the opening goal within 14 seconds of the opening whistle.
His poor clearance fell straight to Sergio Aguero. Lloris partially atoned with a diving save, but the rebound dropped to Jesus Navas, and he chipped the ball superbly over the Tottenham keeper.
City were far from secure at the back, but Tottenham were unable to convert their chances into goals—which has been the story of their season—and they fell two behind on 34 minutes.
Another poor clearance from Lloris allowed City to spring forward. The keeper again atoned with a save from Aguero, but the rebound fell to Alvaro Negredo.
He smashed his shot from five yards on goal. It hit Younes Kaboul, rebounded onto Sandro and dribbled over the line.
The third, on 41 minutes, was all City’s doing. Navas dashed into space on the right and slipped a pass into the area, and Aguero expertly turned it home.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas threw on Emmanuel Adebayor at the break, but any thoughts of a fightback were snuffed out on 50 minutes as Yaya Toure broke clear and squared the ball for Aguero to tap home.
Four became five shortly afterwards. A slick passing move delivered the ball to Negredo on the edge of the box. Great feet helped him spin away from Michael Dawson and arrow a shot beyond Lloris.
Joe Hart was forced to watch from the bench as City boss Manuel Pellegrini continued with Costel Pantilimon in goal.
The giant keeper ensured he kept a clean sheet with a fine late save to deny Adebayor.
A crumb of comfort for Hart, though, is that he will start City's next game against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed Joe Hart will play for Man City against Viktoria Plzen #mcfc— The Sun - Man City (@SunManCity) November 24, 2013
Navas began the rout, and he ended it with an injury-time strike. Substitute James Milner’s raking pass beat Jan Vertonghen, and Navas took it in his stride and fired past Lloris to cap the win.
City were able to see off Spurs without being at their best, but it is their form on the road that is the biggest problem for Pellegrini.
For Tottenham, their lack of punch in front of goal is a real worry—particularly as their normally reliable defence had an off day.
Hugo Lloris: D
The Frenchman was restored to the team following his high-profile absence due to a knock on the head against Everton. He quite probably left this game with a headache after a couple of blunders that cost his side two goals. Poor clearances saw City score on two occasions in the first half. Lloris did make a couple of decent saves, but he was the villain of the piece for Spurs.
Samir Nasri: B
There are occasions when the Frenchman frustrates. He has all the talent in the world, but he does not always use it. He can also be found wanting in the effort stakes. However, he was in sizzling form against Spurs.
Sergio Aguero: A
The Argentina international scores goals, creates goals and pretty much runs riot every time he steps onto the pitch. He was in sizzling form throughout and was rewarded with a couple of goals.
Yaya Toure: B
The midfield powerhouse looked a little leggy in the first half, but he was much improved in the second. His driving run set up Aguero for his second, while he came close to grabbing a goal of his own with a flashing shot from 25 yards that flew narrowly over the bar.
Nasri gave an interview to broadcaster Sky Sports immediately after the game, and he was delighted with the performance:
It was really good, and we showed again that against the big squads we can respond at home.
It is a great result, 6-0. You don’t see that often. All the goals were really nice.
It is tough to pick one of them. We are just happy with the way we played, as we scored six goals but had a clean sheet as well.