FA Premier League
Sunday 24 November 2013, 13.30 KO
City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic (Lescott 45), Clichy, Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure (c), Nasri (Milner 77), Negredo, Aguero (Garcia 69)
Unused: Hart, Richards, Dzeko, Guidetti
Goals: Navas (1, 90+2), Sandro (og 34), Aguero (41, 50), Negredo (55)
Referee: Howard Webb
Man of the Match: Fernandinho
With a tricky fixture following the disappointing result on Wearside, City were looking for a quick start to ease the worries. That’s exactly what they got: Just 14 seconds in, Lloris spooned a clearance straight to Aguero. The Argentine shot and the keeper parried, but it dropped to Navas – he expertly lobbed it over the stranded goalie and in off the post.
Five minutes after dropping behind, the visitors almost responded. Lennon got in behind Clichy and drilled a low ball through the box. Pantilimon could only flick it towards the back post. It fell kindly to Lamela, who played it past the stranded goalkeeper, but couldn’t beat Demichelis on the line.
It was nearly two for City after seven minutes, as Aguero and Negredo combined on the edge of the box. The Spaniard’s flick sent the Argentine through on goal, but his attempted dink over Lloris was brilliantly saved at the last second. The move was like a hot knife through butter.
The City fans wanted a penalty for a sliding challenge by Sandro on Nasri shortly after, but the referee ruled the Brazilian had claimed the ball with the Frenchman through on goal. He had to get the tackle right and he just did. It was from behind, though, so perhaps the visitors were lucky.
The away side were growing into the game, however. Vertonghen hit a free kick straight at Pantilimon and the keeper swallowed it up, before Soldado’s shot bobbled wide when he really should have hit the target. It summed up Tottenham’s game: Plenty of possession, but little end product.
And they were punished for it. Fernandinho nodded another poor clearance from Lloris down to Nasri on the left flank. He found Aguero and the Argentine drew the goalkeeper, before squaring for Negredo. His shot took and double deflection and dropped into the net, going down as an own goal for Sandro.
Five minutes from half time, the Blues added their third. The hosts had raised their game following a series of challenges that went unpunished when the Blues thought there should have been free kicks, and the response was to bury another chance. Zabaleta delivered a perfect cross from the right for Aguero to sweep into the bottom corner.
The first action of the second half saw Aguero double his tally. Toure burst free from the Tottenham defence and, despite being pushed and pulled all over the place, he managed to stay on his feet to deliver a ball across for Aguero to smash past Lloris. The game was as good as over, with 40 minutes still to play.
It was getting embarrassing for the visitors, who were almost a fifth down three minutes later. Nasri broke free on the right and, with Negredo and Zabaleta in the box, chose to chip Lloris. His effort had the keeper flapping and he got nowhere near it, but must have been relieved when it bounced clear off the underside of the crossbar.
A brilliant turn on the edge of the area from Negredo was rewarded by another goal. Dawson couldn’t get near to the Spaniard as he worked the ball onto his left foot to set himself up to bend it around Lloris. With just 55 minutes played, City had scored five and Tottenham were like rabbits in the headlights.
Chances began to flow for the hosts, who were looking like they could add as many as they wanted. Zabaleta had a shot blocked over, while a low cross from Navas was almost squeezed in by Nasri. Negredo also nodded over from six yards with a free header, while Toure sidefooted over from the edge of the box.
Fernandinho should have scored his first City goal with ten minutes to play, as Navas drilled the ball into the box and found the Brazilian with time and space. However, the midfielder got his feet tangled up and it bounced behind via both of his shins.
With the game trundling towards full time, the fans had one more goal to send them on their way. Milner produced a brilliant ball over the top for Navas to chase with Dawson. The Spaniard out-paced his marked and raced through for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Lloris didn’t stand a chance, and the man who opened the scoring rounded it off.
City have now scored more goals at home this season than any team in the Premier League has scored in total.