Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Manchester City 6 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur: Thoughts and Ratings

By Jack Mumford

Well another scintillating performance against one of the best teams in the league at the Etihad Stadium. Many fans must now be dreaming of where we would be if only we could produce this form away from home.

The ghost of Sunderland felt like it was hanging over the club at the start of the day but City certainly showed they have moved on by putting six past one of the meanest defences in the country.

Many City players had their best game for a long while and Tottenham just couldn’t deal with it. If a side as good as Spurs struggled to deal with us then the rest of the Premier League must fear their trip to the Etihad Stadium. Such an emphatic performance only makes it more baffling that City aren’t running away with the Premier League this season.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

In Sergio Agüero Manchester City have a player that is simply on top of his game, and potentially the world, right now. Every time he received the ball yesterday he glided around any defender in front of him - leading to Pellegrini calling him the “third best player in the world." Agüero has defenders constantly running scared at the moment and it is simply a joy to watch such a talent playing in a City shirt. 

His strike partner Álvaro Negredo has been a revelation since arriving and his goal today was the best of his short time at the club to turn and beat Hugo Lloris so powerfully. Samir Nasri was in support of the front two in the David Silva role and demonstrated that it is his best position, as many believe, by dictating the pace of the game. 

Jesús Navas also had his best game in a City shirt by a distance. The winger has underwhelmed so far but yesterday he actually dribbled at players and committed defenders making a world class defender like Jan Vertonghen look Sunday league class.

Before the game there were concerns Yaya Touré and Fernandinho may be overrun by the packed Spurs midfield. Fans needn’t have worried as the two silenced Paulinho, Sandro and Lewis Holtby and restricted them to passing between each other in completely harmless areas off the pitch while both making the marauding runs forward they are well known for.

The defence restricted Spurs to a few chances and long range shots but were helped by the lack of movement by Roberto Soldado who looked completely disinterested. The substitution of Matija Nastasić was worrying but it didn’t affect the team shape and hopefully Nastasić won’t miss any games as his calming influence is required during Vincent Kompany’s absence.  Costel Pantilimon continued his good form and certainly celebrated the goals as if it meant a lot to him. For him to be dropped for Joe Hart in the next Premier League game would be unfair but I believe he will play.

Tottenham set the precedent for their performance with the slow backwards passing and the Lloris clearance after 10 seconds that led to the opening City goal. Despite officially having more possession than City, they made very few chances and looked dishevelled come the last 20 minutes but this was all because of how City had put them to the sword. 

It is now time for City to show more glimpses of this form away from the Etihad and then as City fans we can get truly excited about our prospects in all competitions this season. City first have two home games though: Plzen on Wednesday and Swansea next weekend.

Player ratings

PANTILIMON: Several solid, well held saves from long range shots and a few good catches but he flapped at one corner. Other than that he was an enthusiastic spectator to the massacre like the rest of us.

TSBV rating: 7/10

ZABALETA: Typical marauding runs added to City attacks. Dealt with the dangerous Lamela brilliantly and managed to avoid receiving his compulsory yellow card.

TSBV rating: 8/10

DEMICHELIS: Crucial goal line clearance at 1-0 and generally looked comfortable. A couple of lapses in concentration may have been punished on another day.

TSBV rating: 7/10

NASTASIC: As composed as ever, simple passing from the back started several City attacks. Stayed tight to Soldado almost all the time and therefore Spurs had no outlet to hold the ball up.

TSBV rating: 7/10

CLICHY: A return to form for the defender that has been one of City’s most consistent for two years until recently. Lennon tried several times to beat him but a dogged Clichy won the battle.

TSBV rating: 7/10

FERNANDINHO: Quickly becoming one of the most important players in this side. Performs so much dirty work for the flair players in the side but also has a turn of pace that can take him past many players. We’ll ignore the sitter he missed deep into the second half.

TSBV rating: 9/10

YAYA TOURE: Looked slow in the first 20 minutes but warmed into the game and became as dominant as usual. His run and pass for Agüero’s second goal was his stand out moment and would have gained more press in a less emphatic win.

TSBV rating: 8/10

NAVAS: His best game in a City shirt. To make Vertonghen look this slow is no mean feat and took both goals superbly as well as supplying for the lethal strike partnership.

TSBV rating: 9/10

NASRI: Given the slightly freer role that Silva usually enjoys really benefited him. Keeps the ball superbly and his intelligence, as shown by his ball to Agüero for the second goal of the match, can change games.

TSBV rating: 9/10

AGUERO: Simply faultless performance. Continued his fantastic goal scoring form but adds so much more than just goals. The Argentinian also works tirelessly for the team off the ball which is an added bonus.

TSBV rating: 10/10

NEGREDO: Worked hard for full 90 minutes and is a perfect foil for the star of the team, Agüero. His goal in the second half was a piece of art.

TSBV rating: 8/10


 Slotted in to the defence comfortably but his main job was to simply start attacks.

TSBV rating: 7/10

 Hardly noticed his presence on the pitch but came on when City had already won the game and were winding down.

TSBV rating: 6/10

 Didn’t stop running in his cameo on the pitch. Fantastic long pass for Navas’ stoppage time goal showed what he can do.

TSBV rating: 7/10

Note: All pictures above from MCFC Official Facebook page

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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