City pass Tottenham test with Aguero masterclass and head back to the top

Aguero scored one and went close on a host of other occasions before his injury

 Tottenham Hotspur full back Danny Rose conceded a penalty and was sent off for this foul on Manchester City’s   Edin Dzeko during the  Premier League game   at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur full back Danny Rose conceded a penalty and was sent off for this foul on Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko during the Premier League game at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 00:43


These are the sort of tests that champions pass. Tottenham Hotspur had entered rejuvenated and unbeaten in the Premier League under Tim Sherwood, and determined to make a statement of their own in the race for Champions League football.

Manchester City, though, never looked like doing anything other than win and so extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 20 matches and jump to the top of the table.

Tottenham were their equals during the latter part of the first half but City ruthlessly exploited the decision of the officials to dismiss Danny Rose on 49 minutes for a tackle on Edin Dzeko and also award a penalty against him. Rose did appear to touch the ball but nobody in sky blue cared as Yaya Toure scored and Dzeko put the points to bed shortly afterwards.

The first half was shaped by a Sergio Aguero masterclass, in which he scored one and went close on a host of other occasions before he felt his hamstring on 44 minutes to limp off. That was the blot on City’s evening.

But the positives, as usual these days, washed over it. Some of City’s football was beautiful to watch and there was even a first league goal for the substitute Steven Jovetic as they closed out their latest rout.

Tottenham complained about the decision to disallow Michael Dawson’s far-post finish in the first half for offside against either him or Emmanuel Adebayor, while they fumed about the penalty/red card one-two punch. But there could be no doubt about which was the superior team. City could easily have matched their six-goal margin of victory over Tottenham at the Etihad in November.


Warning shot
The warning shot from Aguero had come in the fourth minute. He got the ball from Fernandinho and switched on the afterburners. Dawson and then Vlad Chiriches were left in his wake before he shot against the top of the far post.

The Argentine’s deadlock-breaker followed a near-miss from Edin Dzeko and it was undercut by trademark explosiveness. The creation was straightforward, Vincent Kompany finding Silva and Silva rolling it into Aguero, who had broken away from Dawson and Rose. The angle, inside the right-hand side of the area, was not friendly and Hugo Lloris was off his line quickly. But Aguero’s touch was instinctive and perfect, and the ball was on its way into the far corner.

Aguero seemed to be everywhere. His firm header from Clichy’s cross drew a flying save from Lloris while he had another effort cleared off the line by Rose and then fired just over the crossbar. The pity was his early withdrawal.

Rose began to get forward for Tottenham and they nearly equalised when Eriksen’s whipped free-kick was turned in at the far post by Dawson, who might have been in an offside position. Adebayor, though, was certainly in front of the last defender and it was he who had been deemed as interfering with play.

Further controversy
The game lurched again on further controversy. When Rose dived in to halt Dzeko, as the City striker went through, it looked, on first sighting, to be a reckless tackle. But replays showed that he got to the ball first.

Marriner appeared to take advice from his assistant Scott Ledger before he awarded the penalty and dismissed Rose.

After Silva had wriggled and struck the post, Chiriches presented Dzeko with a shooting opportunity that he lashed past Lloris.

Tottenham’s 10 men were game, and the substitute etienne Capoue scored at the second attempt following a corner. But, after Jovetic’s deflected shot had beaten Lloris, Kompany had the final word when he turned home after Dzeko’s effort had hit Nabil Bentaleb.


Manchester City have announced a loss of €63 million

for the year to May 31st, 2013, a reduction from the €118 million loss made by the club the previous year when won the Premier League. City’s wage bill increased during 2012-13, to €282 million, but the loss was lower because the club increased its income to a record €328 million £271m.
Guardian Service