MANCHESTER: Terrible weekend for goalkeepers in the Premier League.
After Artur Boruc’s blunder against Arsenal, Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris was to blame for the opening goal at Eastlands after only 14 seconds which launched Manchester City into a 6-0 humiliation of their north London rivals. It was Spurs’ worst defeat in 20 years.
City manager Manuel Pallegrini said: “It’s impossible to play better than we did today, apart from the opening 15 minutes. The second half was incredible. To score 26 goals in six matches at home is not easy.”
Spurs’ Andre Villas-Boas said: “Everything went badly for us, from being one of the best defences to suffering six goals. City were excellent, we were extremely poor and paid a heavy price.”
Lloris was playing his first game since his concussion incident before the international break. He kicked a poor clearance to Sergio Aguero, saved the Argentinian’s shot but only by pushing the ball wide to Jesus Navas who chipped his first league goal for City over the goalkeeper’s flailing arm.
The return of Lloris was one of six changes by Tottenham who included former Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor on the subs’ bench. City manager Manuel Pellegrini had retained Romanian Costel Pantilimon in goal at the continuing expense of England’s Joe Hart.
Pantilimon was lucky once when Martin DeMichelis had to clear off the line. But it was Lloris who was beaten again when City seized on another of his clearances, Aguero had a shot blocked and Negredo thundered goal No2 in the 33rd minute off Sandro.
Seven minutes later and Aguero, unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, gained a goal of his own at last. Aguero had now scored as many goals this term as the entire Tottenham team.
Spurs brought on Adebayor for the second half in place of Lewis Holtby who had endured an anonymous first half including poor defensive covering on City’s second goal.
Their defending did not improve. Four minutes into the second half Yaya Toure rampaged through on the left and laid the ball square for Aguero to score a simple fourth.
Negredo added to the humiliation in the 56th minute before Navas finished what he had begun with a sixth goal in the second minute of stoppage time.
Spurs lacked spirit and defensive organisation which raised questions about the work undertaken on the training ground by Villas-Boas for whom this was a chastening 50th league game as Spurs’ manager. They had conceded only six goals in all their 11 previous league matches.