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November 24, 2013
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 47228
Jesús Navas 1', 90'+
Sandro 34' (own goal)
S. Agüero 41', 50'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells, today. Thanks for following today's action with me and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Until next time, farewell!
Tottenham, meanwhile, find themselves in a sorry state after today's game. Their attacking issues were known before the game (and they're even more prominent after it) but the defensive solidity that they built their early-season performances on was well and truly obliterated today. With defensive woes to add to their all-too evident attacking ones, Villas-Boas has plenty of work to do if Spurs are to pick themselves up from today's defeat.
Another home game and another resounding home victory for Manchester City; though they've looked imperious at home this season, few would have predicted a 6-0 win against Tottenham today. What's more is that they didn't even look as though they particularly stretched themselves - one can only imagine what the scoreline could have been had they been truly firing on all cylinders. Now, all they need to do is take this sterling home form on the road and they'll be a force to be reckoned with in the race for the title.
90' + 3'
And Howard Webb, much to Tottenham's relief, calls time on this game. It finishes 6-0 at the Etihad as City decimated their opposition - a truly emphatic win.
90' + 2'
Assist James Milner
90' + 2'
Goal Jesús Navas González
GOAL! And it's Navas with his second! He got the first and it appears as though he's got the last. Zabaleta put a hopeful long ball forward and, despite Vertonghen appearing to have it covered, it somehow eluded the Belgian, running through to the rapidly advancing winger. The Spaniard finished well, putting it beyond Lloris and into the corner but he should have never been allowed to get into that position in the first place. 6-0!
As three minutes injury time are called, Lennon beats Zabaleta down the left but can't beat Pantilimon with his cross as the Romanian diverts the ball behind for a corner.
Adebayor attempts to turn on the ball and run at goal but a heavy touch allows Lescott to intervene, the English international sliding in adeptly to avert any potential danger.
Dembele, who's done well since coming on, finds Vertonghen on the left flank. The Belgian plays it inside to Adebayor who, despite receiving the ball astutely, is called offside.
It doesn't look as though there'll be any more goals in this one as City enjoy a measured spell of possession without ever really threatening their opposition.
Lamela, in a rare bright moment for the forward, finds Vertonghen to the left of the area with a nicely-executed through ball. The Belgian just about keeps it in before playing off Zabaleta for a corner.
Adebayor, who really hasn't played particularly well, loses the ball after a promising move gathers wind for the away side. He does redeem himself somewhat, however, chasing back to tackle Milner and put it out for a throw.
A dreadful miss from Fernandinho! The Brazilian spurns a chance to make it six as, after Negredo finds him unmarked in the middle of the box, the midfielder can only succeed in kicking the ball onto his other foot. The ball trickles out for a goal kick as the summer signing's wait to get off the mark in City colours continues.
Adebayor almost grabs a goal! Tottenham come as close as they've come to a goal after nimble footwork from Dembele ends in the Belgian feeding Adebayor just in front of goal. He attempts to sidefoot home but Pantilimon gets his body in the way, diverting the ball away adeptly.
Spurs' pressure culminates in Sandro trying his luck from distance. It's a woeful effort through as the Brazilian drags his effort well wide of the goal.
Spurs, to their credit, continue to go in search of a consolation goal as Vertonghen gets forward down the left. The Belgian gets a cross in and Demichelis clears, though they do earn a corner through a uncharacteristically poor touch from Zabaleta.
Milner comes on for Manchester City as Samir Nasri comes off. The Frenchman has been excellent today, a constant threat and one that Spurs have struggled to deal with throughout this contest.
City go close again! It's Toure who strikes this time, almost finishing off a lovely move as he charges onto a cross from Navas, only to see his effort fly over the bar.
Dembele attempts to get something going for the away side but, after a driving run, finds himself crowded out by the densely-packed City ranks. He turns back and plays inside to Sandro and Spurs attempt to build again.
Navas ghosts past Lamela all too easily down the right before putting in a lovely ball for Negredo. The Spaniard gets up well but can't keep his header down as the ball flies over the bar.
Negredo, under pressure from the ever-tenacious Sandro, works the ball into the corner before earning his side a throw in an advanced position, by virtue of a clever flick that ricochets off his opponent's legs and out of play.
Aguero is replaced by Garcia and, deservedly, receives a rapturous reception from the home support. He won't be getting his hat-trick but he's put in a characteristically impressive shift today.
Sigurdsson is irate after the referee gives nothing despite the midfielder appearing to be brought down by Zabaleta on the edge of the area. That did appear to be a foul and it might even have been inside the area.
City, yet again, come forward on the attack but Navas' attempted cross is put behind by Kaboul. This last 25 minutes or so could feel inordinately long for both Spurs and their supporters.
City are playing the ball around at the back as Spurs attempt to harry and hurry their opposition. They succeed in putting the home side under pressure but Pantilimon eventually gets the ball clear.
Zabatela, foraging forward down the right, gets a shot away at goal after being afforded a lot of space from the Spurs left flank. His effort, however, is deflected behind for a corner.
Dembele makes his first contribution to the game as he strikes goalwards from distance. Pantilimon, who has looked fairly solid today, proves equal to it though, saving comfortably.
Those substitutions could be seen as an admission from Villas-Boas that he shouldn't have gone 4-4-2 at half-time. Either way, it looks as though he's simply turned to damage control now as we approach the final half-an-hour at the Etihad.
Sandro continues to live life on the edge as he is, yet again, pulled up for a foul on Sergio Aguero. He remains on the pitch, however, as Spurs make the remainder of their three changes, replacing Soldado and Paulinho with Sigurdsson and Dembele.
As Mousa Dembele limbers up on the touchline, Adebayor has his first strike on goal. From a Lamela cutback, the striker sidefoots goalwards but Lescott is there to avert the ball behind for a corner.
This could get ugly as City really do look in the mood for goals. Aguero almost steals in behind Kaboul again but the centre-back stands up to the task well, avoiding any further embarrassment (for now at least) with a well-timed challenge.
GOAL! And Negredo makes it five with his first of the day! An absolutely lovely touch from a Fernandinho pass makes a mockery of Michael Dawson, before the Spaniard strikes the ball emphatically past the flailing Lloris. That touch was truly majestic, deserving of a goal in itself.
City's onslaught finally abates as Spurs enjoy a spell of possession, though it comes to an end when Adebayor is overpowered by Toure. It's difficult to foresee the away side getting a goal, nevermind four.
City continue to threaten in this second half as Negredo slides Navas in behind the Spurs defence with a lovely pass. The winger attempts to cross with his left but his delivery is poor and its behind for a goal kick.
Nasri hits the bar! It's not clear whether the Frenchman actually intended that but, after being set away down the left, he put a ball into the box with his right foot and, despite shaping up to make the cross, it ended up looping over Lloris and almost finding the net!
Goal Sergio Agüero
Assist Yaya Touré
GOAL! And it's Aguero's second! In truth, he owes this goal to Yaya Toure. An excellent move begins in central midfielder, where he exchanges passes with Fernandinho and then Negredo, who sets him in on goal. He has a considerable distance to go but lopes his way into the box before squaring astutely for Aguero, who taps into an empty net to make it four. An excellent goal and, really, that should be that.
Aguero, once again, gets in behind the Spurs backline but Kaboul recovers well, coming across and getting his considerable frame in between the Argentine and the ball.
City are the first to threaten in the second half as a Vertonghen intervention is required to prevent another Aguero effort at goal. An excellent challenge but the amount of space the Argentine was afforded there will be a concern.
Adebayor gets involved early doors, though his first telling contribution is to give the ball away after receiving it short from Walker. Spurs have gone two up top as the Togo international has joined the hitherto isolated Soldado in attack.
Manchester City, who have also made a change as Lescott replaces Nastasic at the back, get play back underway as they look to build further on their three goal lead.
The teams are back out on the pitch now and Spurs are set to make a change, replacing Lewis Holtby with Emmanuel Adebayor.
Spurs, meanwhile, will be scratching their heads and wondering what exactly has gone wrong in that first half. They didn't play particularly badly for the mostpart but still find themselves three goals down and, realistically, without much hope going into the second period. They'll need to improve on their quite dreadful scoring record if they're to find any way back into this game - could we see a glorious return for Emmanuel Adebayor? In all likelihood, probably not, but something has to change for Spurs in this second half.
City will be, despite not particularly dominating their opposition, extremely pleased with that first half. They weren't overtly troubled by Spurs', admittedly minimal, attacking threats and put together some flowing moves. The four-pronged threat of Nasri, Navas, Negredo and Aguero has caused Spurs difficulties and, with the away side surely set to throw men forward in search of a goal, it isn't difficult to envisage the Citizens grabbing a couple of goals on the counter.
45' + 2'
And the referee brings an end to, from Spurs' perspective, what was a truly torrid first half. It started woefully and, despite something of a fightback, only got worse towards the end as City grabbed two more goals towards the end of the half. Can Tottenham possibly find a way back into this one?
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Kyle Walker
45' + 1'
Spurs' frustration's continue to manifest them in the form of yellow cards as Walker blocks Nasri's attempts to take a quick free kick, essentially tackling him from a set piece. A silly booking to pick up.
Yellow Card Yaya Touré
Two minutes of injury time are called as City launch another attack, Demichelis pumping the ball over the top and allowing Aguero to get on the end of it. The Argentine strikes goalwards but he is, eventually, called offside.
City are enjoying the better of the game now as, following that third goal, Spurs look disspirited. Toure, however, loses possession before, in an attempt to win the ball back, bringing down Lennon and earning himself a booking in the process.
Lamela, clearly eager to atone for his defensive misdemeanour minutes earlier, drives at the City defence, sidestepping Fernandinho before, eventually, threading the ball through to Paulinho. The Brazilian strikes but his effort is fairly dismal, flying well over the bar.
Assist Jesús Navas González
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! It's 3-0 and it's Sergio Aguero! Zabaleta puts Navas aways down the right with a smart pass, Lamela not doing a particularly good job of tracking the diminutive winger. Navas finds Aguero in the middle and he sidefoots it home to put City three goals to the good!
Yellow Card Jan Vertonghen
The feistiness persists as Aguero feels as though he should have a free kick as Dawson, apparently, blocked him off. The Argentine takes his problems up with the Spurs centre back as the referee elects not to give anything once again.
Vertonghen is booked for a lunge on Zabaleta. There isn't that much contact made but it's a dangerous challenge to make in this day and age and City fans, certainly, were baying for blood there.
City are extremely unhappy, once again with Sandro, as the Brazilian continues to tread dangerously, pulling at the shirt of Aguero as the Argentine advances goalwards. The ball falls to Negredo and he attempts a shot from distance as the referee chooses to play advantage, perhaps fortuitiously for Sandro.
Own Goal Sandro
GOAL! And it's a Sandro own goal! After another underhit Lloris clearance, Fernandinho heads it down to Nasri. The Frenchman threads it through to Aguero beautifully, who chests it down and strikes goalwards. Lloris makes a good save but it falls to Negredo, who acrobatically volleys it goalwards. Sandro is there but can only divert the ball into his own net. This isn't looking good for Spurs!
Soldado is balked, much to his annoyance, by Nastasic just inside his own half. The Spurs striker, as has often been the case this season, hasn't had it all his way this half.
Lamela, who hasn't had much of an effect on the game so far, attempts to tiptoe his way, ball in tow, into the City box but Fernandinho intervenes well, tackling adeptly and winning the home side possession.
Nasri continues to shine with another adroit turn, this time bamboozling Walker down the left. The ball eventually finds its way to Toure, who is brought down by the tenacious Sandro. The Brazilian has to be careful here - he's already on a booking.
There hasn't been a clear-cut chance for a while now as the frenetic tempo of the opening 15 minutes or so appears to have passed. City look quite content to sit back, soaking up Spurs' pressure and attempting to catch them out on the counter.
The fleet-footed Nasri does excellently to evade a Sandro challenge, launching a counter-attack with a neat piece of footwork. He finds Aguero on the left but the Argentine's cross is intercepted by Lloris and the chance goes begging.
Play is back underway and Sandro has returned to the field of play as Spurs continue to control possession, though Paulinho puts an end to a nice spell with a lax pass.
The break in play gives Pellegrini a chance to bark some instructions at his City players; he can't be overly happy with how the game has progressed since that early Navas goal.
The game is held up for a brief interval as Sandro goes down, rubbing his eyes and looking fairly dazed. It's not clear what's happened exactly but the Brazilian looks as though he'll be okay to continue.
Vertonghen goes on a maruading run down the left, allowed, quite bewilderingly, to breeze past Demichelis with little in the way of a challenge from the centre-back. His cross is eventually put behind by the intervening Nastasic but Spurs continue to threaten.
Spurs continue to operate on the front foot; they've responded quite well since that opening goal and are enjoying the lion's share of possession as they go in search of an equaliser.
Pantilimon doesn't really impress from the subsequent corner, palming the cross away unconvincingly. Lamela picks up the knockdown but his effort doesn't trouble the City goal.
Lennon does brilliantly down the right, first bringing down an overhit Lamela cross before turning Clichy with an excellent piece of footwork. He then sidesteps a Fernandinho challenge before his cross is put behind by Nastasic - lovely play.
Yellow Card Sandro
Soldado has his first strike of the game at the other end but it's fairly wayward as the Spaniard skews his effort wide of the far post.
Sandro is booked as the Brazilian is pulled up for a cynical shirt-tug on Aguero - the midfielder found himself desperately pulling the Argentine back after a typically strong run from the striker.
Kaboul sprays a nice ball out to the right, finding the hitherto quiet Lennon. The diminutive winger comes inside and finds Lamela but the forward can't find a way through the City backline.
Holtby touches the ball aside to Vertonghen and the Belgian fires an effort goalwards. It's firmly struck but it's straight at Pantilimon, who claims with consummate ease.
Tottenham have a free kick in a dangerous position and it looks like Vertonghen is going to swing this one goalwards, though Holtby is also standing over the ball.
It threatens to get a little feisty for a moment as Vertonghen and Demichelis come together after the latter refuses to give the ball back to the Tottenham man following a strong challenge from the Manchester City centre back.
The referee gives a foul against Sandro on Aguero, prompting predictable cheers from the home support - they clearly feel as though they should have a penalty for the Brazilian's challenge on Nasri.
Things finally calm down a touch as Tottenham retain possession at the back. Dawson looks to get things foward with a long ball towards Walker. The right-back wins it in the air before receiving it back and whipping a cross into the area. Paulinho, however, is caught well offside and City have a free kick.
Spurs not only appear to be struggling to break their opposition down, but they also look susceptible at the back. You wouldn't put it past City getting another here - they look dangerous on the counter.
It's City's turn to appeal for a penalty now as, after a swift counter-attack, Nasri found himself through on goal, only for the backtracking Sandro to intervene with a risky slide tackle. He gets the ball, however, and the referee, again, gives nothing. A challenge he had to make but a dangerous one nonetheless - it could have gone either way.
Spurs are appealing for a penalty, albeit somewhat half-heartedly, after Paulinho turns well on a Walker throw-in, getting his body between Toure and the ball. The Ivorian appears to clip the Brazilian as he turns and shoots but the referee doesn't deem it worthy of a penalty - it would have been soft, in fairness.
Lloris' shaky start continues as Nasri puts Navas in behind the defence. He's not in a dangerous position as the pass falls too far wide of the goal but Lloris finds himself in no-mans-land nonetheless, coming out when it wasn't really necessary. Navas tries to lob him but only succeeds in putting it out for a goal kick.
A frantic opening seven minutes here at the Etihad as both sides look frail defensively. Unusual for both, given City's impressive performances at home and Spurs' all-round defensive record this season.
City are close to extending their lead! Lovely interplay between Negredo and Aguero allows the latter to go through on goal. Lloris stands up well, however, and when the Argentine attempts to dink it over him, he is equal to the effort.
Tottenham almost grab an equaliser and its from another defensive error! Walker whips in a dangerous ball from the right and Pantilimon, put off by the backtracking Demichelis, can only get a tenuous glove on the ball, allowing Lamela a free pop at goal at the back post. He can't capitalise though as his shot is blocked by Demichelis, who duly clears.
That goal took all of 14 seconds, a truly terrible start for Lloris and Spurs but it's the perfect way to put to rest any lingering worries for City after their middling form of late. Let's see how Spurs bounce back from that early setback.
Goal Jesús Navas González
GOAL! And Tottenham are off to a dreadful start as Navas grabs the opener! Lloris makes a complete hash of an early clearance, kicking a backpass from the kick off straight to the feet of Aguero. Aguero shoots goalwards and the Frenchman manages to palm away, but only to the feet of Navas. The winger picks his spot perfectly, lofting it over Lloris and putting City 1-0 up. What a start!
And we're underway! Tottenham kick off proceedings as they look to bounce back from that unexpected 1-0 defeat against Newcastle with a win.
After an unlikely rendition of Blue Moon from comedian Jason Manford, both sides are now out on the pitch as we are minutes away from kick-off at the Etihad!
Andre Villas-Boas, meanwhile, also chooses to make wholesale changes from the side that fell to a 1-0 defeat against Sunderland before the international break. Hugo Lloris returns from injury to replace Brad Friedel in goal, while Younes Kaboul, Sandro, Aaron Lennon, Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela all come in for Vlad Chiriches, Moussa Dembele, Andros Townsend, Cristian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Manchester City keep faith in Costil Pantilimon in goal as the Romanian is, once again, preferred to Joe Hart, meaning he starts his fourth match in a row. Elsewhere, there are various changes from the team that lost 1-0 to Newcastle as Pablo Zabaleta, Matija Nastasic, Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas and Fernandinho all return to the starting eleven, replacing Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Alexsandar Kolarov, James Milner and Javi Garcia.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, Vertonghen; Paulinho, Sandro; Lennon, Holtby, Lamela; Soldado. Subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Dembele, Townsend, Adebayor, Defoe, Sigurdsson.
Manchester City: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy; Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri; Negredo, Aguero. Subs: Hart, Lescott, Richards, Guidetti, Garcia, Milner, Dzeko.
And here come the team line-ups:
There were, however, mitigating circumstances in their defeat to the Magpies as they came up against a goalkeeper in inspired form – Tim Krul denied Spurs time and time again as they went in search of an equaliser. Andre Villas-Boas' men will be hoping that Manchester City's goalkeeper, whether it is Joe Hart or Costil Pantilimon, isn't in similarly fine form as they look to score for the first time domestically this month.
Tottenham can also go fourth with a win, though they also share, less willingly one would imagine, the indignity of an unexpected 1-0 defeat just prior to the international break. They fell at home to Newcastle as their struggles to score persisted - Spurs have netted just nine times from their eleven Premier League games thus far this season.
Manuel Pellegrini's men are yet to drop any league points at home this season, claiming 15 points from a possible 15, and they will be keen to continue that form today with the possiblity of going fourth within their grasp.
Manchester City come into this game eager to atone for their slip-up just prior to the international break; the Citizens suffered an unlikely 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sunderland before international duty took precedence. Although that, coupled with their disappointing position in the league (they sit ninth), may suggest that the formbook favours Tottenham for this encounter, their performances at the Etihad Stadium this season suggest quite the opposite.
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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