Sergio Aguero, on Sunday
Manchester: Manchester City delivered a ruthless attacking display to humble fierce rivals Manchester United 4-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, reasserting their title credentials with the team’s best performance of the season.
Argentina striker Sergio Aguero led from the front for City, volleying home acrobatically in the 16th minute and adding his second amid a glut of three goals in a five-minute span either side of half-time.
While it was the signature victory City really needed to kick-start the Manuel Pellegrini era, United will be reeling after being embarrassed at times by their neighbours just when the team appeared to have clicked under new manager David Moyes.
Wayne Rooney curled a free kick into the top corner in the 87th minute — becoming the highest scorer in Manchester derbies with 11 goals — but that will be little consolation to the England striker or United, which fell five points behind early pacesetters Arsenal and Tottenham after five matches.
City climbed to third and have now scored seven goals in two matches, on the back of a 3-0 win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Tuesday. The influence of Pellegrini may finally be kicking in.
It equalled City’s biggest home win in the derby since a mauling by the same score line at the Etihad Stadium in 2004, and when Nasri volleyed in the fourth goal after 50 minutes, memories came flooding back of the 6-1 beating City handed their neighbours at Old Trafford in 2011.
While that was a freakish result — against 10 men in part — this was fully deserved and even more dominant.
The only consolation to the visitors was that they didn’t concede any more.
The absence of striker Robin van Persie — sidelined by a groin strain — was a major setback for United, with the Dutchman having linked up smoothly with a revitalized Rooney so far this season.
That exasperation had built up because of City’s sheer dominance all over the pitch, particularly in midfield where Toure, Fernandinho and the impressive Nasri had total control. (Agencies)