Football flashback: When Manchester City hit sorry Spurs for six – on this day in 2013


When talking about the teams that have dominated English football over the past decade, it is impossible to look beyond Manchester City. Once labeled Manchester United’s “noisy neighbours” by Sir Alex Ferguson, they have developed into a winning juggernaut.

The Abu Dhabi-led takeover in 2009 helped enormously, and by 2013 City were already Premier League winners. Furthermore, they were one of the toughest teams to face.

They possessed a wealth of attacking talent who played well on the field; This meant that a lot of goals were always on the cards when they played.

And that was never more apparent than on this same day in 2013. City, who were seen as title favorites that year, hosted Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium. And he held a clinical masterclass on goalscoring.

City, then managed by Manuel Pellegrini, scored six goals – three in each half – while Spurs could muster nothing in reply. As far as matches go, it was as one-sided as they come.

With eight years having passed since then, it is a good time to look back on a match that showcased City’s title-winning credentials – and marked the end of a definitive managerial appointment.

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The match was the first after an international break, and both teams badly needed a win. Before the break, City had suffered a shock defeat at Sunderland. and Spurs were beaten 1–0 by Sunderland’s rivals Newcastle United.

To make matters worse, questions were being asked about Spurs manager Andre Vilas-Boas. Too often their victories were unconvincing, and they lost two high-profile games – against local rivals West Ham United and Arsenal.

There is one caveat to note: this was the summer Spurs sold Gareth Bale and signed a whole bunch of new players. As such, there were always going to be some initial struggles to begin with.

And there were some positive signs, too: His record away from home was pretty decent. He only conceded one goal away from home and that too came in a 1–0 defeat to Arsenal.

Thus, they had not accepted any targets outside North London. They didn’t know it at the time, but that was about to change soon.

Manchester City exposes Spurs’ defensive problems

There were signs of trouble as soon as the match started. Spurs closed out the match, and City went 5o backwards to avoid the press. However, they ended in trouble when a mistimed long ball from Hugo Lloris went straight to Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine took a shot that was saved by Lloris, but the rebound fell to Jesus Navas on the right side of the penalty box. The Spanish winger lobbed what looked to be a cross, but it too was mishit.

Luckily for him, it curled over Lloris into the goal. Manchester City were ahead with only 15 seconds on the clock. Spurs needed a response, and fast.

He struggled to get started. Centre-back Martin Demichelis was forced into a goal-line clearance after goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon was beaten by a Kyle Walker cross which found Erik Lamela in space.

Sadly, that was as good as it got for the away side. His troubles increased further in the 34th minute of the first half.

Samir Nasri played a cross into space for Aguero, who was again denied by a good save from Lloris. However, the rebound fell to Álvaro Negredo, who attempted a somersault towards goal that deflected off midfielder Sandro; It was credited as an own goal but either way, Spurs were 2–0 down.

It didn’t get any better, as just before half-time, Spurs conceded a third – which ended the game.

Pablo Zabaleta played Navas through on the right wing, who placed a perfect low cross at the feet of Aguero inside the six yard box. Obviously, he didn’t miss. City had taken a 3-0 lead at the break.

6-0 and onwards

The second half brought even more misery for Spurs. The Ivorian midfielder reached the goal from a pass between Negredo and Yaya Toure. He was pushed wide by Walker but squared it past Agüero to make it 4–0.

Soon after, Nasri almost went into action but his sticky shot found the crossbar. However, that was not the end of Spurs’ misery; Far from it, in fact.

In the 55th minute, Fernandinho received the ball in midfield and played it through the Spurs defence. Negredo received the ball and with a clever turn, gave himself some space and fired a shot past Lloris.

After that Manchester City took their foot off the gas quite a bit, but there was enough time for one more. James Milner played a ball out of defense which cleaned up Navis. The winger made no mistake, slotting home in injury time to end the game on a high.

The match marked the beginning of the end for Villas-Boas at Spurs. He then scored in a 2–2 draw with Manchester United and the pressure mounted.

Narrow wins over Fulham and Sunderland eased the pressure, but a 5–0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool proved to be the last straw.

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