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City v Spurs: Throwback

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City destroyed Tottenham with a performance that simply blew the North Londoners away and once again demonstrated what an exhilarating side the Blues can be when they have their shooting boots on.

Three goals in each half completed a 6-0 rout that somewhat flattered Spurs who could have been heading back home having conceded double figures, such was City’s superiority on the day.

A trip to The Etihad Stadium will soon carry a government health warning for away teams if the Blues continue to average four home goals per game this campaign!

The hosts went into this game once again needing three home points to get the season back on track. The pre-international break defeat at Sunderland had left a bad taste that only a thumping victory over a title rival would cure - but few people could have seen this result coming.

As blistering starts go, this game was right up there with the best. City were ahead within 13 seconds, should have doubled the lead six minutes later and were denied a penalty in the 13th minute in a breathless opening assault.

The pre-match focus had been largely centred on the midfield battle between Yaya Toure and Tottenham’s Sandro plus who would shine the brightest between two Spain World Cup hopefuls in Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado.

But it was the recalled Jesus Navas who had the Etihad Stadium rocking with many of the capacity crowd still not even in their seats yet.

Sergio Aguero reacted fastest to a poor Hugo Loris pass and fired in a shot that was parried away by the Spurs keeper and Navas, running in at speed from the right, instinctively struck a sweet curling shot over Loris and in off the post to spark wild celebrations – with just 13 seconds on the clock!

Manuel Pellegrini couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to blow the cobwebs away, but it was about to get better – much better. Save for a brief spell of Tottenham possession, the Blues were superior in every department with the defence looking solid, Yaya and Fernandinho bossing the middle and Aguero, Negredo and Navas at times virtually unplayable.

Aguero should have made it 2-0 when he was superbly played in by Negredo only to opt for a deft chip over Loris instead of using power and the keeper guessed right and saved comfortably.

Then Samir Nasri was about to pull the trigger before Sandro’s sliding challenge from behind saw him flattened in the box, but Howard Webb decided the Spurs man had taken the ball first – to coin a cliché however, you’ve seen them given!

The visitors, with just one goal conceded on their Premier League travels before this game, continued to look shaky and open at the back and City were picking holes in the division’s meanest defence almost at will.

A second goal had to arrive sooner or later and the only surprise was it didn’t come until the 35th minute when Nasri’s cross saw Aguero’s shot saved by Loris but Negredo’s acrobatic volley had enough power to see Walker’s clearance hit Sandro's shins and roll over the line.

Within five minutes, the game was seemingly over as a contest as Navas used his electric pace to overlap down the right before sending in an inch-perfect cross that was deftly guided home by Aguero for the third home goal of the afternoon.

If the visitors thought City would take their foot off the gas after the break, they had their answer within five minutes of the re-start as the Blues went 4-0 up with a sumptuous team goal that had the home support once again joyously dancing around the Etihad.

Fernandinho – winning his own personal duel with Brazil World Cup midfield rival Paulinho throughout – picked up the ball in his own half, played it to Yaya who then played a one-two with Negredo before powering on into the Spurs box and squaring the ball to Aguero who struck the ball home from ten yards for - already - his 15th goal of the campaign.

And it was soon five with arguably the pick of the bunch as Negredo shrugged off a challenge on the edge of the box before sending a howitzer of a shot past Loris from 20 yards to make it 5-0 with less than an hour played – Tottenham were being outclassed in every department.

The last word went to the man who had begun it all as Jesus Navas raced on to a superb long ball from James Milner in stoppage time to drill home number six and have the unique record of having scored in the first and last minute of a memorable game.

Superb, top draw stuff from City.