English Premier League
Sunday 28 August 2011, 13.30 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta (Richards 64), Lescott, Kompany (c), Clichy, Nasri, Barry, Silva, Y Toure, Aguero (Savic 75), Dzeko
Unused: Pantilimon, Milner, A Johnson, Tevez, Balotelli
Goals: Dzeko (35, 41, 55, 90+2), Aguero (60)
Booked: Barry, Zabaleta, Y Toure, Savic
Referee: Phil Dowd
Man of the Match: Edin Dzeko
Tottenham could have taken the lead inside 30 seconds as, from kick-off, a neat one-two between Bale and Assou-Ekotto sent the full back clear down the left wing. He pulled the ball back across Hart’s goal, but it missed everybody until Lennon picked it up at the back post. He shot through Clichy’s legs, but he dragged the shot wide. Krancjar then curled a shot wide from the edge of the box.
Nasri then burst through the Tottenham defence to lay the ball off to Silva, who smashed a shot at goal from the edge of the box, but Friedel was equal to it and palmed it away. The rebound fell to Nasri, but he stood on the ball as he tried to get his shot away. Dzeko’s effort was then deflected wide by a red and black shirt, in an offside position.
With nine minutes played, Van Der Vaart turned neatly on the edge of the box and forced a nice save from Joe Hart at his near post, as the game continued in its furious opening pace. Assou-Ekotto then tried to nick the ball but sliced through Aguero as he was played through on the right flank and found himself in the book. Dzeko then finished a neat passing move slicing a shot wide of the post.
It took a good tackle from Corluka to deny Nasri a shooting chance in the box, after some neat one-touch passing between Silva and Dzeko on the edge of the box. Silva then forced a brilliant save from Friedel after another City passing move released the midfielder on the edge of the box. He shot low at the far post and the veteran goalkeeper flicked it wide. Dzeko then had a turn on shot blocked by Dawson.
Van Der Vaart then won a free kick from Barry and stood up to take it himself from the left side of the box. He curled it towards Hart’s near post, but the England international got across well to push the ball away for a corner. Zabaleta then saw yellow for a late challenge on Bale.
Gareth Bale then missed a sitter for Tottenham, after some good build up from the home side. Lennon cut the ball back across goal from the right wing and it fell to the midfielder on the back post. With Hart bearing down on him, he skied his shot high and wide. Gareth Barry then went close to adding to his tally for the season as Dzeko let the ball run to him on the edge of the box, but his first time shot for the top corner was just wide.
After a possible handball in the City box, City broke away neatly down the left. Clichy and Nasri linked up well, before Nasri played a lovely one-two with Aguero to set up the crossing opportunity. Nasri then found Dzeko in the box and he found the back of the net, stealing in to get his tow on the end of the ball, giving the away side the lead.
Peter Crouch should have pulled Tottenham level with a diving header as he was unmarked at the back post, after Van Der Vaart had an effort brilliantly blocked by Lescott. Clichy then blocked a Corluka cross for a corner, which Lescott cleared. From that clearance, Yaya Toure broke away with Silva and Nasri, before the cross found Dzeko in the box and he doubled the visitors’ lead with a brilliant header.
Dzeko almost had a first half hat trick after he unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the box, but it was well pushed away by Friedel, before Silva shot just wide of the American’s post, as City looked for their third goal before the break. Bale tried to pull one back on the break from a City corner, but it was deflected wide and Hart claimed the resulting corner from Van Der Vaart.
Tottenham began the second half the brighter, with early pressure, but attacking moves were undone twice by Crouch. First, he handled inside the box before he could get a shot away and then he was caught offside as he tried to break through on goal. Huddlestone was then lucky not to go into the book for a late challenge on Zabaleta.
Dzeko was then inches away from his first City hat trick, as he nodded a cross towards goal from the edge of the box. Friedel through himself at it, couldn’t get to it, but fortunately for the Tottenham keeper, it landed just wide of the post.
But then, from a City corner, Dzeko did get his third. The initial cross was cleared by the defence, but it was picked up by Barry, who found Aguero on the edge of the box. His pass sent Toure clear and the Ivorian’s low cross was smashed into the net from two yards by the Bosnian.
Aguero then got himself on the scoresheet with an hour played. He picked up the ball on the left flank and nipped in past the defender. Faced with Friedel, he smashed the ball into the top corner and gave City a four goal lead at the Lane. He could have had his second pretty soon after, but his effort from the edge of the box whistled just wide of the post.
Joe Hart had to be alert to tip a Defoe effort over the bar as he smashed a shot from range. Kaboul then pulled a goal back for the home side with a free header from the resulting corner, as the Tottenham man found space in the box. Joe Hart then denied another strike from Defoe from outside the box.
Savic then picked up a bizarre booking for coming onto the pitch before the referee was ready, before Nasri pulled out a brilliant pass for Silva inside the box, lifting it over the back line to the Spaniard. He tried to take it first time, but his effort was just wide of the post. Edin Dzeko was then denied his fourth by a good save from Friedel.
Dzeko then rounded the game off in style by adding his fourth goal of the afternoon. He played a nice one-two with Barry, before side-footing a wonderful left footed effort into the top corner. Tottenham were well and truly beaten and City turned in one of their best performances ever.