• Tim Sherwood says visitors are worthy champions elect
• Manchester City play Chelsea at home on Monday
Manuel Pellegrini revelled in what he described as the "complete" performance by Manchester City and their finest of the season away from home, as his team moved to the top of the Premier League with a 5-1 win over 10-man Tottenham Hotspur.
The only negative for City was the hamstring injury that forced Sergio Agüero off in the 44th minute. Pellegrini suggested that the striker, who recently missed five weeks with calf trouble, might have picked up the problem as a result of playing the 90 minutes in Saturday's FA Cup victory over Watford. The full extent of the injury will become clearer on Thursday.
But City had so much to celebrate in the enterprise of their attacking football. Pellegrini suggested they might have scored 10 or 11, as they missed five or six clear chances, and there was the bonus of Stevan Jovetic, on as a substitute for Agüero, scoring his first league goal for the club.
"Away from home, maybe that is the best we have played," Pellegrini said. "We played against a good team, in a good moment and it's not easy to score here in this stadium. We scored five and we missed five or six clear chances. We defended well and that's why the performance was complete.
"I'm delighted, not only because we are at the top of the league but because the team played very well. We are not, though, thinking about the title because we still have 15 games to play. We have to continue." City play Chelsea on Monday at the Etihad.
Tim Sherwood, the Tottenham manager, admitted his team had been well beaten by opposition whom he considered to be the champions elect.
"Without question these are the champions of the league," Sherwood said. "They are the best team in the league by a country mile. And, unfortunately for everyone they play, they don't just score one and shut up shop. They keep coming at you.
"If anyone is going to win the league, you want someone like this team to do it because they entertain, they push on. It's not great for an opposition manager, believe me, but they just put you to the sword. It's how football should be played. I just think these guys are on a different level to anything in the league."
The game slipped away from Tottenham with City's second goal, when Danny Rose was adjudged to have fouled Edin Dzeko as the last man. The referee, Andre Marriner, on the advice of his assistant, Scott Ledger, sent off Rose and awarded a penalty, from which Yaya Touré scored. Television replays showed Rose had got the ball first. Sherwood said Tottenham would appeal Rose's red card.
"He clearly wins the ball," Sherwood said. "I think Andre got it right initially when he called it as a corner but unfortunately for us, the linesman decided that Andre got it wrong. Danny obviously has to lunge in because Dzeko is bearing down on goal. The decision made a difference to the scoreline, although you have to hold your hands up. City were excellent, weren't they? They are on a different planet to anyone else at the moment."
Pellegrini took issue with Sherwood's view of the decision. "It was a clear penalty and a clear red card," the City manager said. "He was the last man. I don't think it was a big decision because, before that, we missed at least five clear chances. If we review the first 45 minutes, I don't remember one chance for Tottenham."
Tottenham did have the ball in the net on 36 minutes when Michael Dawson, possibly in an offside position, converted Christian Eriksen's free-kick at the far post. Emmanuel Adebayor, in a more central position, was in front of the last City defender and he appeared to be interfering with play.
"I think it was the correct decision," Sherwood said. "Michael was offside once Ade touches it. You've seen them given but, unfortunately, it didn't go for us."
Both clubs will now turn their attention to the final two days of the transfer window, with City having spoken to Porto about the midfielder Fernando, who is out of contract in the summer and available for €10m (£8.2m).
Sherwood was asked about the possibility of a deal for the Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov.
"I've seen us being linked to a few players," Sherwood replied. "He's obviously a good player but I don't see that happening."