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25 June 2024

Brilliant City take another step towards title

Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic (right) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal against Tottenham Hotspur during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane in London January 29, 2014. (REUTERS)

By Reuters

Manchester City's all-guns blazing approach to scoring fired them to the top of the Premier League when they routed Tottenham Hotspur for the second time in two months with a 5-1 win at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini described their performance as "maybe the best we have played all season" and Spurs coach Tim Sherwood said he thought he had just watched the champions.

City, who have scored 115 goals this season and are unbeaten in their last 20 matches, were unstoppable and Spurs were powerless to gain any revenge for their 6-0 annihilation in Manchester in November.

"Maybe that was the best we have played all season. We played against a good team in a good moment also, and we scored five goals in their stadium," Pellegrini told reporters.

"We also maybe missed five or six more but we defended very well and for me the performance was complete. We are not thinking about the title yet because we have 15 more games but it's important to be top of the table."

Sherwood, beaten for the first time in the league since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas last month, said the club would appeal against Danny Rose's sending-off before Yaya Toure's penalty which did little to change the course of the match.

"They were excellent weren't they? You have to hold your hands up," he said. "They work all round the pitch, come at you from all angles and this team are the best team in the league. In my opinion they will be champions."

The only blot for City on a windswept night in north London was a hamstring injury suffered by Sergio Aguero, who opened the scoring with a brilliantly executed angled shot after 15 minutes.

Aguero came off just before halftime with a scan on his hamstring planned for Thursday.

Even without him City totally dominated with second half goals from Toure, from the penalty spot, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany giving City their second 5-1 win at Spurs in three seasons.

Etienne Capoue, who could have played his last game for Spurs ahead of a possible move to Napoli, briefly gave Spurs a glimmer of hope when he made it 3-1 after 59 minutes, but City were the better team from the first to the last kick.

Spurs now need to recover against Hull on Saturday to keep alive their chances of a top-four finish.

City host third-placed Chelsea on Monday.