Home rule continues as City smash six past Spurs
Sergio Agüero scores twice as Manuel Pellegrini’s side impress at Etihad
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero scores his side’s fourth goal of the Premier League match against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA
Man City 6 Tottenham 0: If Manchester City could just sort out their away form, then the Premier League might get a team that is capable of pulling away from the pack. They have now scored 26 times in six league games on their own ground.
Add another 11 from their three cup ties and it can start to feel like a trick of the mind that Manuel Pellegrini’s team have already lost four games on the road. Brilliant yet bewildering, it surely cannot be long before the disparity is less startling.
They began in a hurry, scoring in their first attack, and by the time they were done it was almost a surprise they had not helped themselves to a club record for the second time in three weeks. After the fifth, 10 minutes into the second half, they had looked a safe bet to better the recent 7-0 against Norwich City, when previously the last time they won by that margin the top flight was December 1968, against Burnley.
Instead, they settled for only one more, in stoppage time, when Pablo Zabaleta launched a long ball forward, Jan Vertonghen feebly hung out his leg and suddenly Jesús Navas was running clear. It was the defending of an alehouse team and, for Spurs, the story of a gruesome ordeal that should actually have been even worse.
Sergio Agüero will reflect on another two goals to reinforce his position as possibly the most accomplished striker ever to wear the club’s colours, but it would have been a hat-trick if the Argentinean had not missed the kind of chance he usually scores blindfolded.
Fernandinho, unmarked and six yards out, completely missed his kick and there was a wonderful moment typifying City’s performance when the renascent Samir Nasri curled a shot against the crossbar with the outside of his right boot.
Spurs were abysmal, in every department, and they would be hiding from a bleak and inescapable truth if they were to cling to the fact that Manchester United have also been humbled on this ground this season. The tone was set when Hugo Lloris, with his first touch of the game, kicked the ball straight to Agüero, saved the shot and then watched Navas turn in the rebound for the fifth quickest goal since the Premier League’s formation.
Not as fast as Ledley King’s 9.9 seconds for Spurs against Bradford, but not too shabby at 13 seconds.
Another poor kick from Lloris also formed part of the story for the second goal but that is not to say the Frenchman was any worse than his colleagues. A team cannot defend this generously against a side of City’s attacking gifts and expect to get away with it. Vertonghen’s part in the final goal said it all. The same also applies to the way Álvaro Negredo took the ball off Michael Dawson, on the edge of the penalty area, to rattle in the fifth.
Once again, the appreciative chants of “Beast” rang out around City’s fortress. Negredo had also been prominently involved in the second and can consider himself unfortunate that it will go down as an own goal for Sandro. Lloris had kept out Agüero’s effort and Negredo’s effort was on target before deflecting off Younès Kaboul, against Sandro, and into the net.
By the stage Sandro had already been seen vomiting on the pitch. He was not the only one, however, to be dizzied in those moments when the side in blue were rampant. Navas and Nasri were excellent in the wide positions but the Spurs full backs afforded them far too much space. Vertonghen had gone awol when Navas crossed for Agüero to nip between Dawson and Kaboul and poke in the third goal five minutes before half-time. Kyle Walker was not much better on a day that ended with the team’s goal difference at minus three.
They have managed only nine goals in their 12 league games and it is strange Jermain Defoe is barely getting a look-in when they are so sterile in attack. Emmanuel Adebayor, coming off the bench for his first action this season, is not the answer.
The game’s outstanding moment? There are plenty to choose from but Agüero’s second goal was certainly a candidate. Yaya Touré played one-twos with Fernandinho and Negredo in the build-up, surging through the Spurs defence and expertly rolling the ball into Agüero’s path. Thirty-seven goals in nine home wins, City will be unstoppable if they can start playing with this brutal sophistication away from their own ground.