Silva (42mins), Aguero (54mins, pen & 67mins), Tevez (65mins, pen & 75mins)
- Matchday centre
- Match reports
- 17 November 2012 16:51
- Posted by Chris Bailey
City have set a new personal best for unbeaten games in the Premier League.
Victory over Villa at the Etihad Stadium stretched to 18 the number of times Roberto Mancini’s men have played in the top flight without defeat.
The Champions made it 12 on the bounce this season to add to 6 from last term in emphatic style with a five-goal super show.
Friday’s fun at the Carrington training ground when Roberto Mancini appeared at his pre-match press conference wearing a David Platt disguise was replaced by a serious Saturday game face as the Blues touched the summit of the table for the first time since securing the title last May.
Whoever Mancini purports to be ahead of the game, his side’s mask of invincibility shows no signs of slipping particularly at home where it is now 36 games since the Blues have tasted defeat in an EPL contest.
Sides have of course won at City’s home in knockout competitions, Villa being one of them earlier this season in the Capital One Cup, but no one has left with three points for almost two years.
The lifespan of that record was never in doubt from the moment that David Silva scrambled home his first goal of the season three minutes from the interval. It followed a spot of pinball in the Villa box from a corner.
It was no less than City deserved after dominating possession though the nearest they had come to opening the scoring was a Carlos Tevez header that brushed the top of the net and another shot from the Argentinian that was shovelled around the post by Brad Guzzan. The keeper also denied Samir Nasri.
Perversely it was Villa who fashioned the best chance of the half – their only one as it happened. Christian Benteke was the man on the end of it directing a powerful header goalwards and affording Joe Hart the chance to show that class is permanent with a fine, spiraling save high to his left.
There was clearly some relief for Mancini when the goal went it but the Italian was in good spirits having been boosted before this game by the return to training of Nasri, Joleon Lescott and James Milner who all missed out on the come from behind victory against Spurs the previous weekend.
Of the trio Nasri came straight back into the side and Lescott made the bench. Mario Balotelli meanwhile reported in with a back injury and again missed out.
Having taken the best part of 45 minutes to break through Villa’s defences for the first time it took fewer than twenty minutes in the second half to treble the advantage.
Both goals came from the penalty spot, both for handball and both were scored by Argentinians.
The first was somewhat controversial as Andreas Weimann was adjudged by the assistant to have touched Silva’s corner but the second was more obvious as Barry Bannan handled. Sergio Aguero scored the first and Tevez the second - both in the same spot.
The floodgates once opened stayed that way and Aguero added a fourth from a tight angle in the 74th minute before making way for Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian, as usual, had an immediate impact this time helping Nasri lay on the fifth for Tevez from close range.
The rest was a stroll for the champions with Scott Sinclair afforded a rare chance to shine. He would have capped an entertaining cameo but for a fine save by Guzan. This was exactly the momentum boost needed ahead of the arrival of Real Madrid and the trip to Chelsea.