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Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur: 13-second goal leads to blowout at Etihad (video)

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A surgical Manchester City cut apart a formerly solid Tottenham defense and saw the home side cruise again at the Etihad 6-0.

A crazy early goal in the first minute by Navas foreshadowed five more – including two from Sergio Aguero – in an all-too-easy win for Manchester City as Spurs crumbled.

Despite struggles on the road, Manchester City have been incredible at home, now sitting on 27 goals to just 2 conceded at the Etihad.

Manchester City shocked the visitors and scored just 13 seconds into the match as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris cleared poorly straight off the opening kick, and Sergio Aguero stole the ball.  Aguero unleashed a shot well saved by Lloris, but the rebound was put home by Navas on a brilliant, tight-angle finish.

Following the goal, viewers were graced with end-to-end play, with Sandro tackling Samir Nasri hard in the 11th minute to prevent a second for the home side.

source: AP
Sergio Aguero went top of the Premier League scoring chart with his brace.

Spurs controlled much of the possession in the first half, but they failed to do much creative and Manchester City were incisive on the counter-attack.

With the Spurs midfield working very hard in possession, Sandro got sick on the pitch midway through the period, but stayed on.

Alvaro Negredo made sure City had their second in the 34th minute as Lloris again failed with a clearance, falling instead to Toure who headed to Nasri on the left wing.

Nasri found Aguero on the edge of the box, and again Lloris saved well from Aguero only to have the rebound fall to Negredo whose scissor kick was blocked by Younes Kaboul then clipped Sandro and went in, officially an own goal.

City weren’t done before the break, as Aguero would finally get one of his own.  Navas made a beautiful run behind Erik Lamela and received a perfect ball from Pablo Zabaleta.  The winger then crossed perfectly, bending along the ground around Dawson to Aguero for an easy tap-in and a 3-0 lead.

Yaya Toure assisted Sergio Aguero’s second just two minutes into the second half, then a brilliant first-touch from Alvaro Negredo eight minutes later allowed him to get past Michael Dawson to make it 5-0.

Aguero came off before he could complete his hat-trick, and Negredo nearly doubled his tally as he put a 71st minute header over the bar. Fernandinho should have had one as well in the 82nd minute when slotted in on the 6-yard box but he whiffed at the kick.

Navas picked up his second, bookending the scoring as he broke free in added time and finished cooly to add insult to injury.

The win launched City up to fourth in the league – at least for the moment – with a league-leading goal differential of +21.

The loss is the worst in the league for Tottenham since a 6-1 loss to Chelsea in 1998. The goose egg for Spurs also marks the first time they’ve been held goalless for three straight matches since January of 2009.

GOALS:

Manchester City – Navas 1′, 90+2′; Aguero 41′, 50′; Negredo, 55′; Sandro (og) 34′

LINEUPS:

Manchester City – Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic (Lescott, 45′), Clichy; Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri (Milner, 77′); Negredo, Aguero (Garcia, 69′)

Tottenham Hotspur – Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, Verthongen; Sandro, Paulinho (Dembele, 61′); Lennon, Holtby (Adebayor, 45′), Lamela; Soldado (Sigurdsson, 61′)

Pellegrini says announcing departure was mistake; Won’t jump into job

Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini, right, and Bayern Munich's manager Pep Guardiola during the Champions League group D soccer match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Clint Hughes)
AP Photo/Clint Hughes
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Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini thought it was the right thing to do; His club was reportedly looking for his successor, so why not let them do it in the open.

[ MORE: Barcelona could chase Mata ]

What followed Pellegrini’s announcement that he would leave at the end of season were three straight losses and, arguably, City’s chances at a Premier League title.

From Sky Sports:

“After Guardiola said he was coming to England it was my decision [to go public] because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.

“It was not fair for all managers – when everyone knew he was coming here. If I ask if I would do that again… I have some doubts.”

Pellegrini said the announcement didn’t make it difficult for him, but for his players.

The Argentine also said he’ll wait for an interesting job to come calling, and that he could be done managing forever if such an opportunity doesn’t present itself. That said, we think he’ll find a job that’s to his liking given this comment:

“Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”

Life is a good motivator.

Will upsets continue in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round?

SANDY, UT - OCTOBER 1: The U.S. Soccer Championship trophy sits on display before the game between DC United and Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium October 1, 2013 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images
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The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hits the third round on Wednesday, with NASL teams entering the fray and at least one fourth-tier or lower side guaranteed to advance to face MLS competition.

The USASA had three teams win second round matches, and two will face each other on Wednesday. The L.A. Wolves knocked off the USL’s Orange County Blues, while L Maquina FC handed the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold an ouster. They will tangle for the right to a high-profile match-up with the L.A. Galaxy.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Gonzalez wins Liga MX with Pachuca ]

We’ll also see NASL vs. USL geographical rivalries when Carolina faces Charlotte and Rayo OKC meets Oklahoma City.

Wednesday’s third round matches
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL)
New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) vs FC Cincinnati (USL)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (USASA)
Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United (NASL)
Rayo OKC (NASL) vs Oklahoma City Energy (USL)
Des Moines Menace (PD) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)
Arizona United (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
La Maquina (USASA) vs. L.A. Wolves (USASA)
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)

Iranian woman “sneaks” into Persian League match dressed as a man

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An Iranian woman wanted to see her favorite team play badly, but knew well the unspoken rule: no females at the stadium.

The Independent has the story of a woman who dressed in layers and filmed herself in case trouble came from her attendance.

[ MORE: Police free kidnapped Mexico striker ]

Persepolis FC is the name of the club, and they play in the Persian Gulf Pro League.

From The Independent:

There is no official ban on women attending sports events in Iran, but they are often refused entry so it is rare for women to attend.

In a third video, the woman explains that she layered five T-shirts and five pairs of trousers to hide her figure and covered her face with face paint.

I recognize that this is the norm over there, but it’s still a striking story.

Report: Barcelona ready to swoop if Mourinho deems Mata surplus at Manchester United

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 01: Juan Mata (L) of Chelsea shakes hands with manager Jose Mourinho (R) after being substituted during the UEFA Champions League Group E Match between FC Steaua Bucuresti and Chelsea at the National Arena Stadium on October 1, 2013 in Bucharest, Romania.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
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It’s a $40 million question for Manchester United: Will Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho work well together?

Their time at Chelsea was fractured when Mourinho deemed Mata surplus to requirement and shipped the Spaniard to Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Rashford signs new 4-year deal ]

Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.

Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.

We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.