Manuel is taking the Michael – SPURS 1 MAN CITY 5

Apparently it was all happening at White Hart Lane, but what’s all the fuss about – it was just the ‘same old same old’ performance from Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City.

To say City were ‘average’ would be to underplay this emphatic 5-1 demolition of an in-form Tottenham Hotspur. Average presently equates to just three goals per Premier League fixture, but who’s to say that won’t rise before season’s end?

Gain in the rain - City were loving it at 'The Lane'  Courtesy @MCFC

Gain in the rain – City were loving it at ‘The Lane’ Courtesy @MCFC

It represented a validation of City’s title ambitions and yet another endorsement of Pellegrini’s impeccable approach to the beautiful game – for Christ’s sake, even Alan Hansen had something nice to say about Manchester City!

The controversy will rage from a portion of Tottenham fans suffering tunnel vision, but that minority apart, the rest of the football world will concur with the usually embittered Match of The Day pundit’s view that City were ‘mesmeric’ and could have been 5-0 up by the break.

Sublime Sergio - Aguero slots home...1-0  Courtesy @MCFC

Sublime Sergio – Aguero slots home…1-0 Courtesy @MCFC

The ex-Liverpool stalwart went so far as to describe City as ‘possibly the best team in the world…’ a stance slightly at odds with the Reds’ former striker, Michael Owen who is deadly dull and blatantly biased on BT Sport – but more on the ‘monotone drone’ later.

City claimed outright top spot for the first time since the opening fixture back in August, edging Arsenal by a point and Chelsea by three, not forgetting a goal difference advantage of nearly double their closest rivals.

In torrential conditions Pellegrini’s refreshing philosophy of delivering a symphony of splendiferous play – be it home or now away – is winning the hearts of the neutrals, but, more importantly points off City’s rivals.

Kompany man - Captain Fantastic salutes a famous victory  Courtesy @MCFC

Kompany man – Captain Fantastic salutes a famous victory Courtesy @MCFC

With 15 games and 45 points still up for grabs City have already netted 68 Premier League goals, two more than last season’s entire haul. City have raced to the quickest 100 goals in the PL era, and Chelsea’s record league high of 103 is looking seriously under threat.

Sergio Aguero bagged his 26th of the campaign – and 50th of his PL career in just 81 games – to open the floodgates as it simply continued raining goals in the soaking conditions.

City launched wave after wave of attacks as Spurs, like a new and untested sea wall, tried to repel the battering, albeit fearing their defences would eventually succumb to the inevitable.

Aguero hit a rasping shot onto the inside of Hugo Lloris’ post as early as the fourth minute, after accelerating away from a posse of apprehensive defenders.

On the floor - a bitter Adebayor was neutered by battling City  Courtesy @MCFC

On the floor – a bitter Adebayor was neutered by battling City Courtesy @MCFC

It was an indicator of the perfect storm that was to engulf the hosts on the night and threaten to sweep all before it in the coming days, weeks and months.

On the quarter hour David Silva threaded a perfectly weighted pass to Aguero who slotted home from an acute angle, past an incredulous Lloris.

Moments later it was Lloris ‘The Incredible’, as the French keeper clawed away Aguero’s textbook header with a one-handed, mid-air save of sheer brilliance.

Sergio was simply sensational, sublime, superb as his insatiable appetite for the adrenalin buzz of scoring intensified with every carefully crafted opportunity.

Another header had to be cleared off the line by Rose before a thunderous shot, lacking only for Exocet precision, went wide of the Spurs upright.

Having smashed Spurs 6-0 just 66 days beforehand, it seemed City – or indeed Aguero alone – would do likewise within 30 minutes.

Injury concern - a hamstring pull will rule Sergio out - but for how long?   Courtesy @MCFC

Injury concern – a hamstring pull will rule Sergio out – but for how long? Courtesy @MCFC

Slowly, Tim Sherwood’s recently resurgent side began to get a foothold in the half and were awarded a free kick as soft as the sodden turf. Left back, Danny Rose, went down quicker than a prostitute’s drawers after the merest contact with Yaya on the edge of City’s 18 yard box.

The resultant free kick was hammered in by Michael Dawson, but the ‘goal’ was disallowed when the linesman flagged the defender offside. The controversy raged with debate also focusing on whether Emmanuel Adebayor – definitely offside – made the slightest contact as the ball carried to Dawson.

Ade was playing like a man trying to prove a point to his ex-employers, but was getting little or no joy from Kompany and Zabaleta in particular.

As the game wore on the Togolese target man became less and less subtle as his obvious venom and vindictiveness towards his former colleagues surfaced time and time again. How hapless referee Andre Marriner failed to book him remains a mystery.

Bizarrely, he even manhandled Yaya Toure as the Ivorian was being substituted in the 64th minute. The perennial under-achieving Ade, oozing jealousy and craving the recognition now accorded the sky blues, cut a pathetic figure.

Spot on - Yaya & Dzeko celebrate the penalty conversion  Courtesy @MCFC

Spot on – Yaya & Dzeko celebrate the penalty conversion Courtesy @MCFC

His recent rehabilitation under Sherwood came to a shuddering halt against City’s Belgian boulder, with Kompany even weighing in with his team’s fifth strike of the night a minute before the end.

The only sour note to City’s fruitful evening came just before half-time when Aguero hobbled off with a hamstring injury.

The severity of the problem has still to be determined, but Pellegrini isn’t short on firepower even though Sergio, undeniably ‘world class’, will be missed.

It helps that City’s cruelly nicknamed ‘Invisible Man’ Stevan Jovetic is now back on the radar. His number 35 shirt may as well be a ‘high-viz’ jacket, such was his impact upon replacing Aguero, capping it off with his first PL goal in the 78th minute.

Red Rose - Flashpoint as Spurs' defender Danny Rose is sent off  Courtesy @MCFC

Red Rose – Flashpoint as Spurs’ defender Danny Rose is sent off Courtesy @MCFC

City’s second and third goals came within two second half minutes. Yaya Toure’s penalty easily eluded Lloris after Dzeko was adjudged to have been felled from behind by full back Danny Rose.

The highly charged atmosphere prickled still further, as Rose saw red and City eyed only their second win at White Hart Lane in 11 PL visits.

Edin Dzeko the four-goal hero of City’s last win – again 5-1 – in August, 2011, volleyed into the roof of the net after David Silva’s shot had struck the post as City played pinball in Spurs’ box.

Stand up stand-in - Yaya assumed penalty taking duties with Aguero off injured  Courtesy @MCFC

Stand up stand-in – Yaya assumed penalty taking duties with Aguero off injured Courtesy @MCFC

Substitute Capoue fired home a consolation goal after a corner kick scramble at the opposite end of play. Pellegrini, now displaying a familiarity with the Premier League that was missing in early season losses at Cardiff and Villa, sent on Nastasic for Yaya to quell any further threat.

But still the goals kept on coming. Fernandinho released renaissance man Jovetic wide on the left, and the forgotten man from Montenegro cut in and hit an arcing shot, albeit deflected, through four defenders and beyond Lloris.

High 'viz' emotions - Jovetic opened his PL scoring account  Courtesy @MCFC

High ‘viz’ emotions – Jovetic opened his PL scoring account Courtesy @MCFC

Captain Kompany, as if he needed to further emphasise his profound influence on proceedings, (Hansen gave him a 10/10), side-footed the fifth goal from point blank range to complete the rout.

Tim Sherwood, previously unbeaten in the PL as Spurs manager, was magnanimous, honest and humorous in defeat, saying: “They are the best team on the planet, certainly the best team in the Premier League. We’ve played the champions today.”

Stealthy Stevan - Jovetic popped up on Spurs' radar  Courtesy @MCFC

Stealthy Stevan – Jovetic popped up on Spurs’ radar Courtesy @MCFC

Hansen and Sherwood’s warming words were in stark contrast with those of Owen, the obnoxious and odious former Manure dweller.  

Where else do you get ‘impartial’ expertise of the calibre of verbal droppings such as: “I wish the Spurs goal hadn’t gone in and then Fernandinho would have been sent off for handball as well as a Spurs being given a penalty…”

In his youth he was top box office – a prodigious talent on the field – revered as England’s great goal-scoring hope.  In retirement and the seeming onset of premature senility, the monotone drone is the David Brent of football commentary – jaw droppingly cringe worthy and a catalyst for mute button activity the length and breadth of the nation.

Good Kompany - Finishing the formalities with City's 5th  Courtesy @MCFC

Good Kompany – Finishing the formalities with City’s 5th Courtesy @MCFC

Paradoxically Pellegrini’s brand of football is as big a ‘turn-on’ as Owen’s banal and bigoted blitherings are a ‘turn-off’ for BT Sport viewers.

City’s soaring success should mirror the dramatic increase in those seeking solace in radio commentaries whenever Michael is ‘miked up’. 

At least Manuel is on the right wavelength with genuine football lovers.



By David Walker



  1. January 30, 2014  10:12 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    What I find the most amazing about City's results against Spurs this year is not that Spurs have only scored once, as they have only managed 30 goals in all their PL games this year. Rather, it is that in their other 21 games they have only conceded 20 goals, yet we have scored 11 in 2 games. Is our attack really that much better than the rest of the Premier League?

    • January 30, 2014  10:28 am by THFC4EVER Reply

      Spurs were shown up for what they really are. Also rans.
      I thought it was men against boys out there.

      • January 30, 2014  11:30 am by David Walker Reply

        In fairness Spurs were making a match of it in the latter stages of the first half. Their goal was rightly disallowed if only for Adebayor's attempt to play the ball when clearly offside, so any other quibbling on that decision is irrelevant. They can rightly feel aggrieved over the penalty IMO, but Tim Sherwood called it right when he said the penalty altered the scoreline but not the outcome.

    • January 30, 2014  10:47 am by David Walker Reply

      It would appear so

    • January 30, 2014  11:31 am by David Walker Reply

      Seems that way George - rather good isn't it? Cheers fella.

  2. January 30, 2014  10:19 am by ham Reply

    lots and lots of text of how good you where, only two words on how lucky you where when awarded the non penalty, and even luckier you had to play 10 men, mores the pity took my son for his 12th birthday cost me nearly £150.
    shaded of self obsessed united fans, and they say money corupts

    • January 30, 2014  11:36 am by David Walker Reply

      No 'Ham' we're not one bit like Manure fans. We have suffered for nigh on four decades and more often than not at the hands of Spurs. What goes around comes around and this is our time in the sunshine. Are you honestly telling me - and your manager - that you would have beaten us but for the penalty? We'd lost our best striker before then. You won't swallow it fella but you have been totally outclassed by City twice in one season. Just suck it up and move as we have had to do so on so many occasions in the past. You're just plain jealous.

      • January 30, 2014  12:38 pm by ham Reply

        Your just hanging on to your "poor man" past, to justify how lucky you where
        truth is that you are very blaze and coming out with the same cr4p as all the other chosen ones.
        who knows if the ref had a decent game what would have happened, you telling me we wouldnt have gone on to win if we had rightly been 1-1 at half time and no dodgy pens and reds awarded.
        trust me when i say i am not jealous, youve lost your soul,

        • January 30, 2014  2:57 pm by David Walker Reply

          Of course MCFC were fortunate that Sheikh Mansour selected us - and what would you have done if he'd chosen Spurs instead? How principled would you be? Would you have turned and walked away? If we're talking 'souls' what exactly do you mean - yours, ours, whose?

          • January 30, 2014  3:25 pm by ham

            I agree, you have a great team, but never forget, the pain of others, or risk becoming like everything youve always hated

  3. January 30, 2014  10:19 am by ham Reply

    lets see if it get on.

    • January 30, 2014  11:37 am by David Walker Reply

      And yes, it got on because you were at least polite even though misguided.

  4. January 30, 2014  10:20 am by gwc Reply

    Its sad to see that whenever a club comes into money Their supporters become as arrogant as Man u fans have been over the years

    • January 30, 2014  11:39 am by David Walker Reply

      Way off the mark GWC. Spurs have some of THE most arrogant fans and you have stuffed your success over us over the years right up our fundament. Karma mate...stay calm.

      • January 30, 2014  12:11 pm by gwc Reply

        No you are way off the mark you mug because I am a Crystal palace supporter.....

        • January 30, 2014  1:56 pm by Toby Teasadale Reply

          Is that the team now managed by football purist Tony Pullis?

          And you call David a mug!

          • January 30, 2014  3:07 pm by David Walker

            Not too much confrontation please gents - I let as much free comment flow on here as possible but it isn't an open forum. That said thanks for reading if you don't agree with the views and sentiments expressed. Thanks.

        • January 30, 2014  3:00 pm by David Walker Reply

          Oh I do apologise for not knowing your footballing allegiance from the comment left. Yes, what a mug I must be for not having a crystal ball - but you'd know more about that than me, now you have revealed yourself. Have fun with Mr Pulis, enjoy your 'football'.

  5. January 30, 2014  10:34 am by john Reply

    what a load of biassed bullshit you spout, all the players you have, are only at your club for one thing MONEY, great team rubbish, bunch of mercenaries more like, anyone with billions of pounds, could do what you are doing, big deal. we run our club at a profit, and will easily pass ffp, whereas you get bogus sponsorship deals, with own family business, and you will use the sheikhs money to carry on buying hollow glory.
    yes you are going to win the pl, big whoop, who couldnt with your squad, stupid article.
    heres the match summary, our understrength defence could not cope with your superstar aguero, and he ran riot, and you were dominating, but then we eqalise, after putting some good play together, but the linesman disallows it, it was a goal, so that would be 1-1, then we started playing better, but then you opened our weak defence up again, and rose made a perfectly fair tackle, getting the ball cleanly, but the linesman butts in again, and says penalty, and this means rose gets sent off also, so now we lose another goal, and rose, and now you would think going by the media, you crushed us, what rubbish, we scored with 10 men, but then as the match went on, you took advantage of the tired legs, and punished us further, yes you beat us, but you never know, after we came back to 1-1, we may have won, or drawn, but that lino, changed all that, and denied the fans, another match, of equal players.

    • January 30, 2014  11:42 am by David Walker Reply

      The goal was offside by courtesy of the vile Adebayor. It wasn't a penalty IMO but City have been on the receiving end of many bad decisions. You are just one of a green-eyed band of opposition fans who despise us because we are fortunate to have what you crave. Listen to Tim Sherwood he talks sense. Thanks for reading and for getting so emotional about work is done.

  6. January 30, 2014  10:40 am by Nick Spalding Reply

    Accurate as ever David. Regardless of the disallowed goal and penalty decision, as a Spurs fan it was obvious City should have ben 0-5 ahead by half time. The pace with which City played left Spurs players like Rose, Walker, Dawson, Dembele and Chilriches dead in the water, looking completely outclassed. If they think otherwise it serves only to outline their delusion. I think if the Spurs goal had stood, City would have come on stronger and been 1-5 up by half time. As for Michael Owen's commentary, dull is an understatement! He made the Liverpool trouncing of Everton the night before sound as dull as watching paint dry, he was completely biased towards every Liverpool decision and action, and last night some of his comments were just plainly lacking any intelligence! City for the PL, FA Cup and League Cup I reckon!

    • January 30, 2014  11:45 am by David Walker Reply

      Nick you are a gentleman - but I already knew that. Thanks for being so magnanimous when so many other Spurs fans are just resorting to type - as do many opposition fans - and begrudging everything City have achieved in recent years, and will achieve in the coming years. Hope to accommodate you at the Etihad next season and let me have your prediction in plenty of time for me to stake my mortgage on it. Once again, many thanks #tophotspur

  7. January 30, 2014  11:07 am by Paul Reply

    It's not just the football that impresses me, it's when the opposition gets frustrated and they start the dirty side of the game our boys are no pushovers even the the likes of Silva he was smacked left right and center last night and I never saw him moan once, he just carried on making fools of them.
    The other thing that's missing is Joe running the length of the pitch to join in the goal celebrations the nine players do it's really nice to see that we are a team not a side of money grabbing individuals may it last last and we win the league with games to go so our World Cup players can get a rest and some of our youth can come through. Great read yet again David!

    • January 30, 2014  11:47 am by David Walker Reply

      Cheers Paul. Outsiders just don't see it do they - we ARE A TEAM WITH GREAT SPIRIT & BELIEF. Do we care - nah! #TrustOurMP. Thanks for reading & commenting.

  8. January 30, 2014  11:19 am by Gary Derbyshire Reply

    Great read again, David. I feel compelled to vent my frustration with regards to the media and in particular Michael Owen. I was on shift until 9pm last night so I only saw the last 15 mins of the game on TV. On my way home listening to talksport, city were 3-1 up and all matterface and Collymore were talking about was how spurs had been wronged. Me Owen during the Scouse derby saw the reds victory as putting pressure on city rather than utd, whom they're vying for 4th place with, or arsenal who had just dropped points! MOTD is equally annoying, during our 4-2 win at Fulham the whole analysis was spent looking at VKs bizarre own goal and how badly we defended!! Another game, not sure who against but we'd won, Robbie Savage spent his analysis talking about how Yaya was a liability!! Have the media got it in for us, do you think?

    • January 30, 2014  11:49 am by David Walker Reply

      Errrrrr YES! Even Hansen had to be nice last night...we must be goooooood, sooooooooooooooooooooo damn GOOD!

  9. January 30, 2014  1:05 pm by Guvnor Reply

    Adebayor, how dare he push Ya Ya off the pitch, red card for putting his arms on a player
    "ham" I liked his comments, it shows how wound up they are.
    Michael Owen, you can tell he hates City, Scouse and Munich idiot.
    Report was great, well done Dave.
    Good to see your still slating Refs, nothing changed there then

    • January 30, 2014  1:44 pm by David Walker Reply

      As ever thanks Guvnor! nice to see you being so conciliatory to Ham - wasn't he a character in Toy Story - or was he a Muppet? No, it was Toy Story ;-)

      Michael Owen was a fine footballer but the worst pundit ever, Adebayor is just the greediest, laziest player on the planet and Andre Marriner is like so many of his ilk - is comparatively bloody useless.

  10. January 30, 2014  1:46 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    It'll be a tight 2-1 City win, I said....what do I know? Every time I've predicted that, we've got and scored plenty. It's noticeable that, like 2011/12, we seem to score two goals in the last 10 to 15 minutes, to really enhance our quality.
    I really don't understand some of the Spurs fans' comments.....yes, Adebayor attempted to play the ball, would they have said the goal was incorrectly disallowed if the ball had gone in from his head?
    No comment from our visitors on how easily Rose went to ground, I see.
    Rose was possibly unlucky, but that's a risk you run tackling from behind. Indeed, I think it was a similar situation at the Etihad with Sandro on Negredo, if memory serves, that was called play on.
    Also no comment about the number of handballs in one go, that should have seen a penalty the first half!
    Just a brilliant City performance, marred by the Aguero injury. Great times at the moment.

    • January 30, 2014  3:11 pm by David Walker Reply

      The Hotspur Globetrotters - nice ring to it! Thanks Graham, yes it was a game full of contentious elements and one would imagine, highly entertaining for the neutrals as well MCFC fans.

  11. January 30, 2014  2:47 pm by Eileen Fullen Reply

    Excellent assessment of last nights performance -what can I say brilliant display by our boys who look like they are enjoying every minute of it-and lets not forget Pellars - got the PL sussed. I shall make sure that come Monday (my last live game till April) that I shall be singing loud and clear against Moanieho-haha brilliant comments by big Sam

    • January 30, 2014  3:16 pm by David Walker Reply

      Let's hope so - if we can open up a six point advantage over Chelsea it could be invaluable.

    • January 30, 2014  5:47 pm by Toby Teasadale Reply

      And we kept Negredo in wraps!

      • January 30, 2014  9:32 pm by David Walker Reply

        Dzeko scored to keep his stats looking good. Edin seems a very popular guy with his team mates and is always engaging when interviewed but he does miss a helluva lot of chances. You can't measure him by Sergio's standards - there is no comparison but if we are to be the best of the best he needs to be more clinical. I would expect Alvaro to start against Chelsea with Jovetic if , as is more than likely, Aguero will be sidelined for a while. Can you imagine maintaining this momentum even without Super Sergio...beautiful thought.

  12. January 30, 2014  7:29 pm by Mole Rocks Reply

    I think we have all given up on intelligent punditry from Michael Owen. I am just glad I haven't watched a game on BT Sport.

    It is inevitable that City will start attracting haters, some of the 'City getting all the decisions' phone ins are just laughable.

    We have prided ourselves on being humorous, but essentially level headed when it comes to reviewing City performances, it's not our fault City have become so good that all we can do is try and out do each other with more grandiose superlatives.

    February is a critical month, the media will be licking their lips hoping for slip ups against Chelsea and Barcelona, thankfully 4 of the 5 games are at Fortress Etihad.

    To steal your mantra, 'trust in MP' and lets see if City win the silverware their play deserves.

    • January 30, 2014  9:36 pm by David Walker Reply

      Let's hope so Carl. As the cliche goes you don't win titles in January, February etc but you can lose them.If we can navigate past Jose twice over and bag the Capital One Cup we could be on for a 'double'. The CL will be so so tough, but the PL and a cup and I will be a very happy bunny. CL will come but I think it might be too soon this season. Delighted to be proved wrong.

  13. January 30, 2014  8:55 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    Evening Dave. Seems some very bitter jealous spurs fans on here thats a shame because spurs played well we were just better. As for the arrogant & forgetting were we came fromI have not come across one city fan yet who falls into that category. I spoke with a spurs fan today who disputed the offside goal & the penalty but it was friendly banter between two fans but he did say that city would have won anway & spurs could of been 5 down by halftime. All this hatred to city is stupid if spurs had been chosen by our owner would they be complaining I think not. Anyway back to the game we were good last night & Aguero & Silva were just out of this world hope Aguero is not out for too long. Spurs were in & out of the game but 1-5 tells its own story. Excellent piece again sir but how you put up with bitter moaning opposition fans is beyond me. I love banter between fans but some of the sours fans on here are way out of order. #TrustOurMP.

    • January 30, 2014  9:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      As an ex-journalist I truly believe in free speech and, provided a comment is not so vulgar and offensive that it goes beyond the boundaries of decency I'll allow it through. RBNR is as open to criticism as any other media - preferably constructive criticism. If anything somehow gets through which is grossly offensive then it will taken down at the first opportunity.

  14. January 30, 2014  9:16 pm by stuart reed Reply

    That first 30 minutes last night was as good as any football I've ever seen. I don't think most City fans are arrogant or have lost their souls - personally I'm still grateful (and am still disbelieving of it) for what's happened to City. But hey, sorry, it was us & if it hadn't been us I would have wished it on the likes of Aston Villa, Everton, Newcastle (without Pardew) or yes, even Spurs. The Sky 4 dominance needed to be broken up - they've always had the pick of the best players one way or another, and City are having to pay a premium to catch up. I want to be humble about it all - showing humility in victory and grace in defeat. I will never rub a decent clubs' fans noses in it if we tonk 'em (West Ham - great fans, and last night Sherwood an extremely gracious loser). There are bound to be a few idiots at city but aren't they everywhere these days but I think most City fans are still aware of how low we've been and don't forget that. And aren't we playing some of the best football and isn't Mourinho - so jealous? (what are the words for new, bacon and face in Portuguese?)

    • January 30, 2014  9:44 pm by David Walker Reply

      I'm thinking of learning Portuguese - no really I am - so let me get back to you on that one. Nice sentiments Stuart and ones which I believe are genuinely held by vast majority of MCFC fans. We don't need to apologise for our success, we have every right to embrace it but others misinterpret our joy.

  15. January 30, 2014  10:32 pm by Joe Reply

    Great read David. Particularly liked the bit about that droning moron Owen. His commentary was funny up until the wishing Fernandinho got sent off. Then it was just weird.

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