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Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez each struck twice as Manchester City enjoyed an emphatic 5-0 win over Aston Villa. The Barclays Premier League champions went ahead through David Silva at the Etihad Stadium and then clicked into gear after being awarded a penalty early in the second half.
Aguero struck from the spot and added another while Tevez, who celebrated by pretending to drive after his Porsche was impounded by police, added his own penalty and a close-range finish.
City controlled the early stages but did not create a serious chance aside from a scuffed Aguero shot which bounced awkwardly and Tevez headed over. Maicon, initially seeing plenty of the ball after being preferred to Pablo Zabaleta, also found space to shoot but his effort went well wide.
After seeing very little of the ball, Villa launched a first significant attack in the 12th minute but Vincent Kompany blocked a shot from Christian Benteke.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "I am very satisfied with this performance. In the first half we played well, created a lot of chances but we were too soft when we had chances to score. But we played well and this is the most important thing.
"In the last two games we changed something. In our mind we found a good spirit, like last year. For us it is very important we start to play well and in the last two games we have scored six goals with our strikers. We have been missing their goals.
"This is his [Joe Hart’s] job. He received criticism from you [the press] after the international game, but this is part of our life. Sometimes you can do well, sometimes you can do bad games. But it is important to have very strong characters in this situation. Today he saved in the first half [in] an important situation."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "Joe Hart made a brilliant save to keep out Christian Benteke's header. We were well in the game, we had a foothold in it and that is a big thing coming here."
City goalkeeper Joe Hart had to be sharp as Kompany almost sliced a Matt Lowton cross into his own net. Hart reacted brilliantly to produce a one-handed save and Kompany recovered to block Andreas Weimann’s follow-up attempt, although a flag had been raised. Hart then had to keep out a header from Benteke after the Belgian outjumped Matija Nastasic to reach an Enda Stevens cross.
City interrupted Villa’s good spell as Yaya Toure drove forward and Samir Nasri teed up Gael Clichy but Brad Guzan was equal to the Frenchman’s shot.
At the other end Maicon then got in the way of a Gabriel Agbonlahor shot but City then began to reassert themselves. Ron Vlaar blocked from Toure, Tevez dragged an effort wide and Nasri shot straight at Guzan. Toure missed the target with a header from a Nasri corner and Guzan kept out a low attempt from Tevez that appeared destined for the bottom corner.
City’s opener arrived two minutes before the interval. Villa failed to deal with a Nasri corner but Tevez could not connect properly with a shot. The ball bobbled dangerously inside the goal area and Silva reacted quickest to tuck home from close range.
The Spaniard almost added a second before the break but Guzan saved with his feet.
City started the second half brightly, with Tevez shooting across goal and Silva playing in Aguero with a fine ball. Aguero shaped to shoot but was perhaps punished for a split-second’s hesitation as Vlaar denied him with a fine tackle.
Aguero was not to be denied for long after the assistant referee flagged for handball by Weimann as Silva swung in a corner. The Argentina striker dispatched the spot-kick.
The next City goal came in similar circumstances as Barry Bannan was penalised for handball after 65 minutes and Tevez scored from the spot. Things got worse for Villa as Hart launched a counter-attack and Aguero burst into the area and finished inside the near post from a tight angle.
It proved his last involvement as Edin Dzeko came off the bench and the Bosnian was soon in the action. He found Nasri and the Frenchman’s ball across the area was tapped in from six yards by Tevez. City continued to press for a sixth and substitute Scott Sinclair twice narrowly missed the target in a strong finish.
Manager reaction to follow
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