So frequently have City been forced to field a side without Sergio Aguero its appallingly easy to forget just how good he is. Since 2011 his record now stands at 61 goals in 95 Premier League games making him City’s ‘max’ Premier League goalscorer.
What’s easy to forget is apart from his first full season when he made 34 appearances scoring 23 goals, he missed 8 games in 2012/13 (playing countless games only half fit) where he scored just 12 goals in what we thought might be his difficult second season, and last season just he played 23 league games. In return he scored 17 goals, and whilst the media raved about Luis Suarez (and to be fair he carried Liverpool to second place), imagine what Kun might have done with and extra 15 league games.
On Saturday, Younes Kaboul and Fabrizio Facio were never going to be able to handle him and nor was Jan Vertonghan. Whilst in the opening stages City were horribly open defensively, Spurs still managed upstaged them in the generous defending stakes.
Pochettino surely must have explained to his defence not to allow Kun any space in dangerous positions. So naturally the first thing they allowed him to do was to switch the ball onto his right foot, open up his body and unleash a thunderous shot into the bottom right hand corner. Lloris, unsighted, would have struggled to stop that even if he had of seen it.
The floodgates might have opened if City’s penchant for conceding stupidly daft goals hadn’t continued when Fernando was caught in possession and Eriksson found himself 3 on 1 before levelling with a shot Joe did well to even steer onto the bar.
Ironically someone sat near me at this time said that the referee was having “a good game”, he was certainly to have a busy one. Having read one newspaper that said that only two of the four penalties were awarded correctly so we will have to work out which was the second he was talking about.
For the first penalty Lampard was clearly on the receiving end of contact in the area, heavy contact? no, but when your 36 and going at that speed, you are going to go down. The irony is that of all the penalties Frank must have won at 10 years at Chelsea I bet this is the first one that was disputed.
City dominated the remainder of the first half, created the better openings but Spurs, and in particular Eriksson seemed dangerous on the break against our, at time, laisse faire defence. Lampard going off had a huge impact, as his replacemeFerandindo sesmed determined to occupy the same space as Fernando. Too many times they were caught ball hunting together however they deservedly led at the break.
The second half, City looked a little sluggish coming out and undoubtedly should have been out of sight by the time the most controversial moment of the game came when Demechelis fouled Soldado albeit just outside the area. Having slated Soldado for much of the game, it was typical that he was about to step up and score the penalty to level, but step Super Joe who having made a world class save at 0-0 made a wonderful save getting into the corner down save Soldado’s pen.
From there, it was the Aguero show, hauled down for another penalty, this time he made no mistake scoring his third and once Spurs were down to 10 it was game over.
It was a surprise that Vertonaghan didn’t start the game but it was soon evident why, as minutes, after coming on he too was guilty of allowing Sergio enough room to build a small three bedroom home and Kun promptly obliged my leathering it into the bottom left hand corner.
4-1 up at home, playing against 10 men, City were content with trying to score the perfect goal as Navas, clearly under orders to give Yaya Toure the ball at all times, squandered a couple of chances as the excellent James Milner hit the outside of the post with a curled first time shot from the edge of the area.
Overall, a lot of mistakes for two sides perceived to be top four, but for City the tempo and the attacking intent were there and at this stage in the season Manuel Pellegrini should be pleased that the foundations for a title defence as present.
Man of the Match: Sergio Aguero….Just a frightening made when fit and full of confidence.
Roll on to Moscow…