Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League with a 5-1 victory over Tottenham Hostpur at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
Sergio Aguero put City ahead in the 15th minute. City—and especially Aguero—had multiple chances to increase the lead in the first half before Tottenham had a potential equaliser ruled out for offside.
Yaya Toure extended City's lead with a penalty early in the second half following Danny Rose's send-off for Tottenham, and Edin Dzeko made it 3-0 moments later. Half-time substitute Etienne Capoue pulled one back for Tottenham in the 59th minute, but Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany added late goals to polish off the scoreline.
With the win, Manchester City moved onto 53 points, one ahead of Arsenal. Manuel Pellegrini's side have an unbeaten streak of 20 matches across all competitions and have won each of their last four away trips in the league.
"I think it’s too soon to be (considered) the favourites (for the title)—there’s a lot of matches to play," Pellegrini said, per MCFC.co.uk. "If we continue to play the way we are, we will have chances to win but it’s early."
City have now scored 68 goals in 23 league matches this season, two more than they managed during the entire 2012-13 campaign.
Aguero left the match just before half-time with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Updates on his condition were not immediately available following the match.
City won the reverse fixture, 6-0, at the Etihad in November, a result that helped contribute to the demise of former Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas. Under new manager Tim Sherwood, Spurs had gone unbeaten in six league matches, winning five.
Sherwood made only one change to the side that won at Swansea City on Jan. 19, with Gylfi Sigurdsson replacing Nacer Chadli in midfield.
Pellegrini made six changes to the team that came from behind to win, 4-2, at home to Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday. Joe Hart returned in goal, Pablo Zabaleta, Kompany and Gael Clichy came into the defence, and Fernandinho and David Silva started in midfield.
City entered the match with a record 110 goals scored in all competitions this season, and in the fourth minute, Spurs were put on notice. After tearing across the box with the ball at his feet, Aguero shot across his body toward the back post and hit the woodwork with Hugo Lloris beaten.
It took just 11 more minutes for City to break through.
In the 15th minute, Silva received the ball in the middle and picked out Aguero's run on the right side of the box. Aguero raced onto the pass and clipped a measured finish past Lloris and into the net at the far post.
Leading 1-0, City—and Aguero—looked anything but satisfied.
Dzeko blazed a shot wide in the 16th minute, but Emmanuel Adebayor forced a corner at the other end with a deflected shot in the 19th minute. Another minute later, Lloris produced a superb reaction save to keep out Aguero's close-range header. Rose then cleared Aguero's header of the line in the 22nd minute, moments before Aguero blasted another shot over the bar.
Spurs were being overrun, but in the 36th minute, the hosts were nearly level.
Rose won a free kick just outside the box on the left, and Christian Eriksen curled a ball toward the back post with pace. Michael Dawson slipped free of his marker and powered the ball into the net from closer range, but the assistant referee ruled Dawson offside.
Aguero was forced from the pitch in the 45th minute after receiving treatment on the pitch for what looked like a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Stevan Jovetic just before half-time.
Within minutes of the restart, City went ahead, 2-0.
In the 49th minute, referee Andre Marriner awarded City a penalty after Rose brought down Dzeko in the box. Rose was sent off as the last defender, and Toure calmly converted the penalty.
Four minutes later, it was 3-0.
Silva hit the upright after creating space for himself in the box, and after the rebound bounced around Tottenham's box, Dzeko tucked in City's third.
“The red card turned the game," Sherwood said, per MCFC.co.uk. "It’s tough, but we weren’t as good as them anyway."
The hosts looked buried but managed to pull back a goal in the 59th minute, when Capoue scored from a scramble in the box following a corner by Eriksen on the right.
But City were simply too strong, and Jovetic made it 4-1 in the 78th minute with his first league goal since his summer move from Fiorentina. Kompany completed the rout in the 89th minute, poking home at the far post after Dzeko's shot was blocked.
|Tottenham Hotspur Player Ratings vs. Man City|
|Etienne Capoue (for Dembele, 46')||N/A||6|
|Kyle Naughton (for Sigurdsson, 55')||N/A||6|
|Lewis Holtby (for Eriksen, 83')||N/A||6|
|Manchester City Player Ratings vs. Tottenham|
|Stevan Jovetic (for Aguero, 45')||6||8|
|Matija Nastasic (for Toure, 64')||N/A||6|
|Aleksandar Kolarov (for Silva, 80')||N/A||6|
Tottenham play at Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday.
Manchester City host title rivals Chelsea on Monday.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!