Tottenham preview: time for Pellegrini to rethink his midfield

After last week’s debacle, the last opponent City need is another hard working, well organised, title challenging side in excellent form. With injuries to Sagna and Delph reducing Manuel Pellegrini’s options still further, there’s little optimism around. True, Kompany and Silva are available but one has to wonder how fit they are for such a demanding fixture.

Still, City have had a rare full week to recharge and prepare for the game. So have Spurs, but with the older squad City probably needed it more. There’s been plenty of time for Pellegrini to come up with a plan, and central to his thinking should be the setup of the midfield and how to combat a flying Spurs side.

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Verdict: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 5

A four goal haul from Edin Dzeko helped City overwhelm Tottenham in an excellent free-flowing game. Samir Nasri had a dream debut with three assists and showed how instrumental he can be in Roberto Mancini’s team.

With Dzeko as the focal point Nasri, Silva and Aguero displayed the fluidity and interchanging which Mancini looks for in his attacking play. Clichy is perfectly suited to providing the width on the left, while Zabaleta got the nod to do the same on the right.

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Verdict: Manchester City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

City qualified for the Champions League with a single goal victory over Spurs, scored with sweet irony by Peter Crouch. The result was significantly better than the performance, though the resilience instilled by Roberto Mancini ensured there was no repeat of Saturday’s defeat.

Instead there is the promise of a new era with the club being able to attract better players at more reasonable prices just as Financial Fair Play kicks in. The importance of this result for Garry Cook’s “project” cannot be overstated.

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