Jesus Navas put City in front after just 14 seconds and things went from bad to worse for a lacklustre Tottenham side as the ruthless hosts ran riot at the Etihad Stadium.
Sandro scored an own goal before the prolific Sergio Aguero helped himself to a brace. His striker partner Alvaro Negredo then got in on the act with a stunning goal of his own and Navas completed the rout with his second goal right at the death.
This was Spurs' fourth Premier League defeat this season and Villas-Boas was baffled by the heavy defeat that.
"[It was a] difficult start. Conceding after 15 seconds puts your plans in doubt, it's difficult to take," he said. "I think we had a very good reaction to the [opening] goal, that’s probably the only positive of the game we have.
"Everything went bad for us, from being one of the best defences in the country to suffering six goals, there's not a lot I can say.
"City were excellent, we were extremely poor today and we paid a big price. From the moment we suffered the fourth goal we mentally weren’t playing the game."
Tottenham now find themselves down in ninth place and face Manchester United in their next league fixture.
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