Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas both scored twice as Manchester City condemned Tottenham to their worst Premier League defeat since 1996.
Navas put City ahead after only 13 seconds and Spurs' day got progressively worse from that moment on, with the former Sevilla man finishing off the 6-0 rout in stoppage time.
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Alvaro Negredo's shot was turned into his own net by Sandro before Aguero bagged a brace in a nine-minute spell either side of the interval, taking his tally for the campaign to 15.
Negredo profited from Fernandinho's superb through-ball to net a fifth, by which stage Tottenham resembled little more than a rabble.
Indeed, the scale of this damaging loss sent the north London outfit tumbling down to ninth in the Premier League, the position in which City had begun the afternoon.
As the hosts have now jumped back into Champions League contention, six points adrift of leaders Arsenal, evidently their position is not grim as some have made out.
However, as Andre Villas-Boas has now overseen a run of just one point from their last three games, some tough questions might soon start to be asked of the Spurs boss.
Awful on their travels and beaten at rock bottom Sunderland a fortnight ago, City boss Manuel Pellegrini noted his side's productive sequence at home in the Premier League, where they have scored three, five and seven goals in their past three matches.
In his programme notes, the Chilean observed: "I am pretty sure we will not be able to continue that particular numerical sequence."
By half-time they were a third of the way there and given the woeful nature of Tottenham's defending, it was not entirely beyond the realms of possibility they could reach nine.
Damage was inflicted early, with Navas floating home a superb effort after Aguero's initial shot had been saved.
The timing of the effort equalled that of Asmir Begovic's startling clearance at the Britannia Stadium earlier in the campaign, although it was short of the Premier League-record 9.9 seconds it took Ledley King to score for Tottenham against Bradford in December 2000.
Negredo had a claim on City's second, again after Aguero had been denied. However, as the Spain man's effort had ricocheted off target after striking Younes Kaboul before striking Sandro and ending up in the back of the net, it will surely not count as his 10th of the season.
It was part of an eventful opening period for Sandro, who was also booked in addition to being sick by the side of the pitch, a condition most Tottenham fans must have felt by half-time.
Given City's opening two goals had come as a result of misdirected clearances from returning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, at least City's third was all their own work.
Navas attacked the space Jan Vertonghen was supposed to be dominating, then sent a low cross to the edge of the six-yard area where Aguero superbly flicked it into the far corner.
Villas-Boas resisted the temptation to start hauling players off before the break, as West Ham manager Sam Allardyce did at Upton Park on Saturday.
He did however introduce Emmanuel Adebayor, who is still being paid a hefty sum by City, during the interval. Not that it did much good.
The striker barely touched the ball as City scored twice more within 10 minutes of the restart.
Aguero finished off the first. The credit went to Yaya Toure after he collected Negredo's pass and rampaged through the Tottenham defence before squaring unselfishly for the Argentina man.
Negredo was soon on the scoresheet too, turning Michael Dawson brilliantly after Fernandinho had supplied the pass before drilling past Lloris.
Nasri's impudent chip flicked the bar, and Toure fired over as the visitors' defence opened up again.
At the other end, Costel Pantimilon had little to do, which does not bode well for Joe Hart getting his place back any time soon.
The match ended as it had started, Navas on target again to condemn Tottenham to their worst defeat since a 7-1 hammering at Newcastle almost 17 years ago.