Tottenham endured another thumping at the Etihad after a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City. Although Spurs were arguably the better side in the first half, they simply crumbled in the second spell and ultimately let themselves down.
Although the opening few minutes were quiet, the game came into life after ten minutes had been played. Manchester City took the lead when forward Sergio Aguero rifled home a shot into the far corner. Erik Lamela lost the ball on the edge of the area to set the chance up for his fellow Argentine, and despite the tremendous effort, Spurs could be faulted for the first goal of the game.
Immediately afterwards, Tottenham were back in it. Roberto Soldado found himself with the ball racing down the centre of the pitch, only for the Spaniard to slip the ball to Christian Eriksen who fired the effort into the goal, with a slight deflection off of Joe Hart. Spurs had enjoyed a good spell when they levelled the affair, and the action wasn’t over there.
Not long after, City went ahead yet again. Frank Lampard dived inside the Spurs box after the smallest touch from Erik Lamela, and was awarded the penalty. The record Spurs signing wasn’t having the best afternoon. Sergio Aguero made it 2-1 when he buried the penalty past Hugo Lloris. Spurs fans in the away end were applauding however, as on the 24th minute mark, a minutes applause was held for Tom Clark.
The drama wasn’t over there. The hosts were awarded yet another penalty when Spurs captain Younes Kaboul came sliding into David Silva inside his own area. However, Sergio Aguero missed the chance, as Hugo Lloris was able to get a foot to the weak effort. The Frenchman was called into action with another fine save once again, when Jesus Navas struck a shot towards the Spurs net just moments later.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side almost came level before the break. Christian Eriksen hit a composed shot at Hart, with the England goalkeeper able to push it wide. Ryan Mason then got in on the action just minutes after when the keeper clawed away his drilled strike. There was some great work from Roberto Soldado throughout the first half, with his passing and general link-up play key to anything Tottenham did going forward. Christian Eriksen and Ryan Mason the other star performers before half time. City entered the break 2-1 ahead.
The second half entertained a very different atmosphere to that of the first. Lloris had several difficult saves to make, however Tottenham’s build-up play was too poor to counter the threat of City. The entrance of Andros Townsend and Mousa Dembélé into the game made little impact on events, however Roberto Soldado was involved in the next dramatic moment of the fixture.
The Spaniard won a penalty just after the hour mark when he was clipped on the edge of the area. However, the former Valencia man failed to complete his positive performance as he tapped the ball into the path of Joe Hart. A chance to go 2-2 was missed by the visitors, and Pellegrini’s men took advantage of this.
Manchester City made it 3-1 through the fourth penalty of the game. Sergio Aguero completed his hat-trick after Federico Fazio held him on his entrance to the box. The referee subsequently sent off the Argentine on his Premier League debut for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, that of which was questionable. A handball of chances were all to note in the final minutes, as Manchester City finished the game 4-1 winners.
Lloris – Superb penalty save. Scoreline a poor reflection of his game (Excellent)
Dier – Performed well, nothing special (Good)
Kaboul – Shocking tackle to concede the second penalty (Average)
Fazio – Harsh red-card on his debut (Average)
Rose – Made some key challenges and some mistakes (Average)
Capoue – Made little impact on the game (Average)
Mason – Professional performance from the youngster (Good)
Eriksen – Great game, great goal (Very good)
Lamela – Arguably at fault for first two goals (Poor)
Chadli – Lacks pass, little influence (Average)
Soldado – Despite the penalty miss, a top first half performance (Good)