Jesus Navas scored less than 15 seconds into Manchester City's clash with Tottenham, and the Sky Blues never looked back. They added five more goals, including another from Navas in second-half stoppage time, in a 6-0 rout of Spurs.
City rushed forward immediately after the opening kickoff. Sergio Aguero stepped in front of the Tottenham back line and unleashed a laser toward goal. Hugo Lloris was up to the task but couldn't control the rebound.
Navas did the rest, as he won the race to the loose ball and delivered a tremendous touch shot over the Spurs goalkeeper and just under the crossbar to give City the instant lead.
The match was well out of hand by the time he struck again in the 92nd minute. That said, it was a perfect cap to a tremendous performance by the veteran. In between his goals, Aguero scored twice, Alvaro Negredo found the net and Sandro had an own goal.
A clash that was billed as one of the weekend's best was anything but, and Navas' quick strike played a crucial role in unsettling Spurs, and City took full advantage.
The victory allowed City to climb into fourth place in the table, just six points off Arsenal's pace through 12 matches.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Sky Blues' start is the clear contrast between their play at Etihad Stadium and on the road. So far, they have won all six matches at home with a 26-2 goal differential but are just 1-1-4 when forced to play in hostile territory.
At times, it's almost like two different clubs are playing the matches, and that was certainly the case during City's impressive rout of Tottenham.
Of course, the question for manager Manuel Pellegrini is why his squad can perform at such a high level at home and look completely lost on the road.
While there are several contributing factors, one of the biggest is the efficiency of role players like Navas. They have played much better in the home fixtures, which takes a lot of pressure off stars like Aguero on the attack.
Navas was one of City's main additions during the summer, and they brought him in with visions of matches like today. He was a constant force moving forward, using pace and vision to put pressure on a Spurs back line that wasn't prepared for the challenge.
The 28-year-old Spanish international has struggled to find space in the early portion of the campaign, which explains his mundane numbers coming into the match. But he finally enjoyed a breakout match and should remain a key piece of the City attack moving forward.
If Navas does showcase that type of form on a regular basis now that he's found his comfort zone, City should be able to move up the table pretty quickly to put some heat on Arsenal. They must start playing better on the road to win the title, though.
Navas can play a major role in that journey to the championship.
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