Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City: 6 Things We Learned
Manchester City took their aggregate score against Tottenham Hotspur this season to 11-1 thanks to a dominant victory at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.
Following up on their 6-0 win earlier in the season, City beat Spurs 5-1 in North London to move to the top of the Premier League table―taking advantage of Arsenal and Chelsea both dropping points this midweek.
Sergio Aguero scored the opening goal in the first half before limping off with a worrying injury, before City benefited from the harsh decision to send Danny Rose off for a challenge on Edin Dzeko in the penalty area early in the second half.
Yaya Toure scored the resultant penalty, with Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany adding the other goals in a dominant win for the visitors against the hosts, who could only reply through an Etienne Capoue strike that made it 3-1.
Here are six lessons that we learned from the game.
Manchester City Should Win the Title from Here
At the top of the league with 15 games remaining, City look to have clicked into gear at an ominously good time and are rightly considered the favourites to win the competition with all major bookmakers.
Their win here was impressive, but even more important were the draws for both Arsenal and Chelsea this midweek. Those results place City at the top of the table heading into their huge clash at home to Chelsea on Monday night.
Win that game, and plenty will be looking to crown City as champions already.
They are worthy favourites at this point, though.
Tottenham Can't Afford to Panic This Time
The last time Spurs lost a home match in such an emphatic fashion, they responded by sacking Andre Villas-Boas, but they can't afford to react in the same way again.
That sacking after the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool in December brought Tim Sherwood to the helm at White Hart Lane, and whilst he won't meet the same fate of the Portuguese just yet, he can't afford to let this result seep into the mindsets of his players as they chase a top-four finish.
However, the fact remains that the top two contenders for fourth place, which have now become Liverpool and Manchester United, don't concede five goals at home, ever.
That quality could eventually tell in the race.
City Shouldn't Be Too Worried About Sergio Aguero
The major blot on Manchester City's copybook on Wednesday night was the hamstring injury suffered by Sergio Aguero, but they can use the result as an indication that things aren't all doom and gloom without the Argentinean star.
Of course he was superb again and almost scored a fantastic goal before he opened the scoring, but with the various other options available to Manuel Pellegrini, Aguero shouldn't be rushed back.
Obviously the Barcelona Champions League clash next month has to be considered the priority, and so City should make sure Aguero takes his time with this latest injury.
Edin Dzeko Can Still Be City's Shooting Star
Plenty of people expected Edin Dzeko to leave City this January, but the Bosnian stuck around and is now arguably more important to his club than he's ever been.
Both Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo have had their injury problems recently, and Manuel Pellegrini is so fortunate that he can rely on his No. 10 to replace them whenever he's needed.
Dzeko has now scored seven goals in his last six games, and he looks like being a key man as the matches only get bigger and more important for the rest of the season.
Just Because a Linesman Raises His Flag Doesn't Mean He's Right
There seems to be a belief amongst referees that, just because their assistant raises their flag and gives a decision outside of their usual remit, they're always right.
That isn't the case though, and the Danny Rose sending off was a perfect example.
Referee Andre Marriner was in a good enough position to judge that the full-back didn't deserve to concede a penalty and be sent off when he challenged Edin Dzeko early in the second half, so why did he accept his assistant's decision when it was clearly a wrong one?
Stevan Jovetic Is City's Secret Weapon
Stevan Jovetic has been the forgotten man all season, but after scoring his first Premier League goal, he can become City's secret weapon for the rest of the season.
Now seemingly over his variety of illnesses and injuries, the former Fiorentina man can kick on from here and step in for Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo as they struggle with their own problems.
It's a massive cliche, but he's like a new signing for them, even if the Gareth Bale-esque celebration was a little on the nose...