City crushed Spurs 5-1 at White Hart Lane two seasons ago, when Harry Redknapp excused a squad handicapped by Daniel Levy's miserliness and Luka Modrić unhappiness. On Sunday, André Villas-Boas had no excuses.
This aberration was remarkable since Tottenham boasted the best defensive record in the league prior to kick-off. Then again, City had hit 20 goals at home, so it was inevitable Spurs would become the latest visitors to be treated inhospitably.
Disaster struck within 14 seconds. Spurs had the kick-off and played the ball all the way back to Hugo Lloris, whose infamous distribution was eventually punished by an exquisite Jesús Navas lob.
Spurs enjoyed some sterile domination for the next half-hour yet they could not even take advantage of Vincent Kompany's absence from the City XI. The contest was effectively ended when Sandro lucklessly put through his own net and Sergio Agüero finished Navas' cross before the pause.
Kyle Walker's tragicomic mix up with Aaron Lennon which instigated the move that led to Agüero's second was reminiscent of the Typical Tottenham days when annual thrashings, such as the 1-7 at Newcastle or 1-6 to Chelsea in the late 90s, were included in the raw deal of supporting the Lilywhites. Ian Walker was in goal, the kit was designed by Pony and Andy Sinton got a game.
Gallingly for Villas-Boas, City barely got out of second gear. Álvaro Negredo pinged in a fifth with 35 minutes remaining, and just like they did against Manchester United, City took mercy on their opponents and eased off the gas.
Until the 92nd minute, when Navas latched on to a long ball thanks to some casual defending from Jan Vertonghen and slotted past Lloris for six.