Man City top after Spurs goal frenzy, but Chelsea fire a blank
Sky Blues firing on all cylinders as they hit the front in title race... who can stop them?
MANCHESTER CITY are the new Premier League leaders after dishing out yet another thrashing. This time the unlucky victims were Spurs, beaten 5-1 in front of their own fans as City recorded their eighth straight league win.
The result means the Sky Blues have scored 11 goals against Spurs in their two league encounters this season, though at least time around the London club did manage to find the net themselves.
Etienne Capoue's second-half goal for the home side was scant consolation on a night when City issued a statement of intent to their rivals and took their league goal tally to 68 in 23 games.
With Arsenal being held to a 2-2 draw by Southampton on Tuesday, and Chelsea forced to share the spoils with West Ham on Wednesday, City's victory over Spurs takes them one point clear of the Gunners – and with an astonishing goal difference of 42 compared to Arsenal's 24.
On this form it is hard to see anyone keeping pace with, yet alone overhauling, Manuel Pellegrini's side, who are being touted as the best team on the planet in some quarters.
One reason for that eye-watering goal difference is the form of Sergio Aguero, and the Argentine striker was at it again at White Hart Lane, opening City's account on 15 minutes. It was his 50th Premier League goal in just 81 games, making Aguero the fifth fastest striker to reach a half century behind Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Fernando Torres.
But Aguero's hopes of adding to his tally were dashed just before half-time when he limped off clutching his hamstring and Stevan Jovetic was sent on as his replacement. The former Fiorentina striker was among the goalscorers after the break as City ran riot. First Yaya Toure scored from the penalty spot after Danny Rose was sent off for fouling Edin Dzeko, though replays showed the Spurs defender had got a touch on the ball.
Edin Dzeko made it 3-0 and though Capoue then gave the home fans something to sing about, Jovetic and captain Vincent Kompany added goals four and five for the visitors. "They are the best team on the planet, certainly the best team in the Premier League," said Spurs boss Tim Sherwood. "We've played the champions today."
City's scintillating display was in marked contrast to events across London as Chelsea were held to a goalless draw at home to West Ham. It was a precious point for the Hammers – who have now kept ten clean sheets this season – but two dropped ones for the Blues, who remain in third, three points behind City.
A frustrated Jose Mourinho later criticized West Ham, accusing them of negativity. "This is not the best league in the world, this is football from the 19th century," said Mourinho, whose side had 39 attempts on goal compared to one from the Hammers. "The only [other] thing I could bring was a Black and Decker [tool] to destroy the wall."
Some might say Mourinho's remarks carry a whiff of hypocrisy. Only last month his Chelsea side adopted a similarly defensive approach at Arsenal, playing out a 0-0 draw in front of jeering home fans.
Certainly Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was contemptuous of Mourinho's comments about his side's performance, saying: "He can't take it, can he? He can't take it because we've outwitted him. He just can't cope... it's brilliant when you get a result against him. Hard luck, Jose!"
Though the draw gave Hammers a much-needed point they remain the relegation zone because of Sunderland's win at home to Stoke. Adam Johnson scored the all-important goal as the Black Cats moved out of the bottom three for the first time since August. Sunderland are now just a point behind West Bromwich Albion, who lost a seven-goal thriller to Aston Villa.
The Baggies went two up in the first ten minutes but eventually went down 4-3 with Christian Benteke scoring Villa's winner from the penalty spot.