Manchester City routs Tottenham, seizes first place in EPL
LONDON (AP) - Manchester City stormed back to the top of the Premier League with a high-tempo 5-1 victory at 10-man Tottenham on Wednesday, taking the free-scoring team's tally this season to 115.
City only managed to net once in the first half through Sergio Aguero but piled on the goals after the break to end Tottenham's unbeaten league start under new manager Tim Sherwood.
Tottenham crumbled after Michael Dawson was denied an equalizer for offside before halftime, and then Danny Rose sent off for a sliding tackle on Edin Dzeko before Yaya Toure netted from the penalty spot.
Edin Dzeko exploited dithering defending to score the third and, although Etienne Capoue pulled one back for Tottenham, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany scored to ensure the 2012 champions knocked Arsenal off the summit in style.
''We are enjoying it and it's a great time to be part of things,'' Kompany said. ''There is still no silverware, a lot of games are to be played. We'll stay calm.''
The only consolation for Tottenham - if any - was that the loss wasn't quite as embarrassing as the 6-0 rout away in their previous meeting in November.
That result at the Etihad Stadium helped usher Andre Villas-Boas out of White Hart Lane.
Since the novice Tim Sherwood took charge, Tottenham had been unbeaten in the league in six games, collecting 16 out of 18 points.
This was a reality check, though, with City as majestic as Tottenham was feeble up front.
''They come at you from all angles ... they (will be) the champions of the league,'' Sherwood said. ''Unfortunately for everyone they play they don't score one and shut up shop, they keep coming at you.''
Aguero had already hit the post when the Argentina striker slickly slotted in the opener after being released by Jesus Navas.
City was rampant, with Emmanuel Adebayor's shot that was blocked by Kompany a rare incursion of any menace by Tottenham into the visitors' territory.
Aguero continued to trouble Tottenham, with a header that was thwarted by Hugo Lloris' one-handed save and a volley that went just over.
But Tottenham captain Dawson did turn the ball in the net after Adebayor headed on Christian Eriksen's free kick. Tottenham didn't deserve it, and it didn't count, with referee Andre Marriner disallowing the goal for offside.
There was a blow for City when Aguero went down with a right hamstring injury just before halftime. Jovetic came on for his first league appearance in three months.
But City didn't miss Aguero after the break, and showed it can cope without the striker if he is sidelined.
Pellegrini's side had a man advantage when Rose saw red - a decision disputed by Sherwood - and Toure netted the penalty.
Down to 10 men, Tottenham's defense was breached again inside two minutes.
Pablo Zabaleta's cutback was slammed against the post by David Silva, and Dzeko was alert to the rebound, turning the ball into the roof of the net. It was the striker's sixth goal in as many games against Tottenham.
City's defense gifted Tottenham a consolation in the 59th, as Capoue brought down Eriksen's corner, then sent a scuffed shot past goalkeeper Joe Hart.
But Tottenham couldn't mount a comeback. If anything, the pace of City's attacks became more lethal.
''They put us to the sword,'' Sherwood said. ''And that's how football should be played.''
Jovetic scored his first league goal since joining City in July, curling low past Lloris in the 78th after cutting in from the left.
And Kompany tapped in the fifth from the rebound after Dezko's shot was initially blocked, taking City's league tally alone to 68, exceeding last season's haul with 15 games to go.
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