Tottenham 1 Manchester City 5: Revelations and home truths

For the second time in three seasons, Manchester City travelled to White Hart Lane and put a sorry Tottenham Hotspur side to the sword, winning 5-1 in north London.

The victory in 2011-12 was a firm announcement that the Etihad Stadium outfit had joined the big time and were there to stay, and was a pre-cursor to their first top-flight title in 44 years.

This time round the result was no less emphatic and City once more are closing in on the Premier League title. Three points lifts Manuel Pellegrini’s outfit to the top of the pile, and this free-scoring juggernaut will now certainly take some derailing.

For Spurs, the reaction to the defeat will be more important than the extent of the loss.

Observations on Manchester City

The visitors put in a vintage performance that will have delighted the travelling support and acted as another warning shot to the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

Sergio AgüeroDespite treacherous conditions, City’s football was slick, accurate and incisive and from pretty much the first minute of the game Pellegrini’s charges looked much superior to a side fighting for fourth place in the Premier League.

More than any other side in the division, City simply look like they will score goals every time they take to the pitch. The win at White Hart Lane was the 14th time this season that the Etihad Stadium outfit have scored four goals or more and it was no shock to see Hugo Lloris’ goal repeatedly breached.

Pellegrini has two of the most influential and dominant footballers in the English flight at his disposal, with both Vincent Kompany and Yaya Touré putting in imperious performances once more. The giant Belgian netting the fifth was a fitting conclusion to victory. With the sheer quality that surrounds these two talismanic figures, City are in irresistible form this term.

The one down side to the comprehensive victory will be the injury to Sergio Agüero, who looks set for another period on the sidelines. However, Pellegrini will be glad to have Stevan Jovetić back, who netted his first Premier League role in the rout.

With Chelsea to play at home next, City have a glorious opportunity to open up some breathing space between them and the chasing pack.

Observations on Tottenham

The home faithful will have a few gripes over the officiating, and have a case in question to be aggrieved that Michael Dawson’s potential equaliser was chalked off, even though the Spurs skipper looked in-line with Pablo Zabaleta.

Danny RoseWorse still was the award of a penalty that allowed City to go 2-0 up and the dismissal of Danny Rose. On second viewing there is no doubt that the Tottenham left-back won the ball, and both decisions were incorrect. In both instances, the referee’s assistant Scott Ledger rather than Andre Marriner was to blame.

Regardless of this, moaning about the refereeing seems slightly futile given that the hosts were completely outplayed by City. By half-time, Spurs were lucky not to have conceded more than once, and only really looked like a threat from set pieces.

Tim Sherwood’s major frustration will be with his side’s performance when they did not have the ball though. City, for all their immaculate possession play and penetrating attack, showed much more urgency off the ball and closed Tottenham’s midfield and forward players with more dedication and enthusiasm that their Spurs equivalents.

The grim inevitability of City’s opener was treated with acceptance rather than frustration from the Tottenham players, while the effort on show in the dying moments was not to the standard expected by Sherwood or the White Hart Lane faithful.

The fact that Spurs have shipped 11 goals against City in two outings this season shows the gulf between the top teams in the league and where Tottenham are currently.

With 15 games to go to determine whether the campaign will be a success by reaching fourth or disappointment by falling short, an immediate reaction is needed.

Liverpool now have a three-point lead in fourth and the north London side need to strike back quickly with improved performances and more importantly positive results against Hull, Everton and Newcastle in upcoming weeks.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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