City banished any pre-match fears the fans had with a truly brilliant show, running out deserved winners. It was a night that delivered on what we were promised six and a half years ago – one of many this season so far. Here are a few thoughts following a wet night at White Hart Lane…
Have we seen this before?
Structurally, this game was reminiscent of the reverse fixture at the Etihad in the Autumn. City ran all over Tottenham who looked bewildered for a lot of the game. There was another early onslaught before the home team briefly rallied after about 25 minutes, including a disallowed goal, but it turned out to be a temporary state of affairs. City took control for the rest of the game and scored many goals, again. It really was fantastic to watch.
Tottenham were done as soon as Danny Rose gave away a penalty and got sent off, but it didn’t look as if anyone in the stadium really thought it mattered. City were overwhelming when it suited them and deadly when it mattered. As at the Etihad, the Spurs defence had a night they will want to forget, conceding another five goals and being given a comprehensive run around. There was no moment as individually devastating as Negredo’s turn and goal which left Dawson distraught on the turf, but it cannot have been a pleasant collective experience.
For what it’s worth, the away section had a comparable view of Rose’s tackle to the linesman and it looked to be a nailed on penalty. Whether it should have stood or not, it is easy to see why he signalled to the ref that it was one. Ultimately, City would still have walked this game.
Aguero & the rest
Another injury in such close proximity to the last one is discouraging. With the run of fixtures that are fast hoving into view it is not ideal to potentially be without our star striker. Both Chelsea and Barcelona will be given a boost if Aguero cannot play against them.
However there are some positives to draw from the circumstance. Sergio himself has said that he went off as a ‘precaution’ following a twinge in his hamstring and he didn’t have to be carried off the pitch. Hopefully he will be fit and ready to fight again very soon. He was replaced by Stevan Jovetic who went on to play his first full half of Premier League football and looked rather sharp. His deflected goal was met with general joy among both the fans and players. He got into many of the same positions Aguero would normally occupy meaning that the Spurs defence weren’t given even the smallest of breaks. Having Jovetic swapping into the team so smoothly may be invaluable in the coming weeks as fixtures and injuries pile up.
We got another glimpse of a world where Aguero is not completely indispensible to the team as the goals flew in from all angles. This is a team where everyone wants the ball and everyone wants to score. Most importantly, this is a team where everyone is also thrilled if someone else who isn’t them scores. The most heart warming sight of the match came after Aguero’s opener when Demichelis and Hart ran to each other in delight, fist bumped, hugged, and punched the air together. They could hardly have been happier if they were on party drugs. No other team in the premier League has the depth of goal scorers that City do.
The midfield was utterly dominant in all areas. Silva was everywhere, having one of those nights where he looks like the best player in the world. He probed, taunted and bullied Spurs’ defensive players who looked in three or four minds. None of them knew what he was planning. Silva has had to take a lot of the creative burden upon himself in the absence of Nasri and, on last night’s evidence, he is fine with it. Yaya and Fernandinho were exactly as good as they always are. We are rapidly running out of things to say about them as each game they put in the same almost-perfect performance. Navas is in the best form of his City career to date and once again scared the living daylights out of the whole Tottenham left wing in concert with Zabaleta. That duo is looking to be a particularly destructive weapon of late as the understanding between them grows.
The whole City midfield along with Zabaleta and Clichy have been a swarm of killer bees on attack recently. Long may it continue.
What do we do with Dzeko? He had yet another of those nights where he played two different games. Half of what he did was just awful as he hit all his usual touchstones of a comedy first touch, running into defenders and blasting goal scoring opportunities over the bar.
The other half of the time he looked like a world class footballer and as usual he scored his obligatory goal. He held defenders off and looked like the player Spurs wished Adebayor could be. He played a through ball to Navas which appeared to go through two defenders as if they had no mass, such was the precision of it. He grinned like the cat that got the cream when he scored which made me feel content as a fit, happy, and firing Dzeko is a very potent weapon. If the other side of Dzeko goes away for a while it will make the next month much easier.
Finally, anyone who makes a “Dzeko and Hyde” joke is hereby banned from Typical City. Fair warning.
Written by Alex Timperley