The Brilliance Of Sergio Aguero, The Cunning Of David Silva & The Return Of Carlos Tevez - Manchester City Show They Mean Business With Swatting Of Wigan

The comfortable 3-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium was further proof that Roberto Mancini's side have what it takes to mount a challenge for silverware at home and abroad
By Jonathan Birchall at Etihad Stadium

'And on the sixth day, God created Manchester,' or so the city's famous saying goes, and now, following the blue half's demolition of Wigan Athletic, the Etihad Stadium is showcasing a brand of football so heavenly that it is proving a worthy pilgrimage to the finest disciples of the beautiful game.

A 3-0 win over Roberto Martinez's men is standard practice for a club with ambitions of grandeur, but the way in which it was secured proved to be, in the defeated Spaniard's words, "something special" - this was as resplendent as it was ruthless.

Having played four games, Roberto Mancini's side have secured 12 points from a possible 12 and have found the back of the net 15 times. At the same point last season they had five points and four goals.


8.5 The Spaniard oozed class in the final third and appears to have added further dynamism to his game, changing pace when cutting inside and generally looking threatening. Set up Aguero's opener and won the penalty for Tevez to miss. Was part of the build-up to City's second and assisted in Aguero's third. Simply unstoppable.
8.5 Is already looking to be a quite phenomenal signing. Showed endless energy in pursuing the Wigan defence from the off and only took 13 minutes to get on the scoresheet, coolly slotting past the despairing Al-Habsi. Doubled his tally with a similarly cool finish after some fantastic build-up play, then completed his hat-trick with a composed finish.
6.5 Was a surprise starter in place of Edin Dzeko at the Etihad Stadium and had a poor introduction, scuffing his penalty into the arms of Al-Habsi. Linked well with his compatriot Aguero, nearly securing an assist with a sumptuous back-heeled through ball.
It is a transformation born out of a shifting football philosophy. Accused of adopting a Serie A mantra and cautiously constricting his players over the last campaign, Mancini at times made City look like a small club on the big stage. But purism has replaced pragmatism and they are pretenders no more.

So wide-reaching is the change from the Italian that he looks to have taken the criticism as a personal affront. He seems determined to prove that the stereotypes are false. And how.

The game against Wigan saw a return to the team for Carlos Tevez in place of the in-form Edin Dzeko (six goals in your last two Premier League starts isn't enough to keep your place in this City team) but even the sole individual of last season's supposed 'one-man team' was left behind by the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, whose link up play was utterly mesmeric.

The penalty miss from the club's wantaway former captain was indicative of his insipid opening quarter of an hour but there were glimpses that he and the former Atletico Madrid man could be devastating in tandem given time.

No such waiting is neccessary for El Kun and Silva however, and the Spaniard played an important part in each of the Argentine's goals. Two assists as well as a sumptuous backheel to provide substitute Samir Nasri an assist were merely flashes in a performance of absolute beauty from the ex-Valencia wideman. The £38 million man rightly took the headlines but it was Silva who took the breath away.

Equally refreshing was the attacking contribution from all quarters. Gael Clichy has slotted seamlessly into the City side at left-back and provides an injection of endeavour that although promised, never arrived consistently from Serbia international Alexander Kolarov last season.

On the opposite flank, Micah Richards galloped and charged towards Maynor Figueroa with alarming intensity. Vincent Kompany hit the post and Joleon Lescott should have had a goal towards the end of the first half. Totalitarian football, such was the dominance with which it was exerted on Martinez's men.

It will have been a result to warm the City boardroom, as well as their manager, as focus returned to football after a week of controversy surrounding now former chief executive Garry Cook. The former Nike executive resigned on Friday after seemingly admitting to allegations made by Dr Anthonia Onuoha, mother and agent of defender Nedum over an email she received that was said to be mocking her recovery from cancer in October last year.

It was an incident not in keeping with the outfit that City have strived to become and now appear to be. A permanent replacement is yet to be announced but on the field at least, the introduction of Kompany as captain is a move that implies the club are happy where they are, with the defender's loyalty to City appearing as solid as his performances at centre-back since joining them from Hamburg in 2008.

Style and stability are secured; only silverware remains before the prayers of City fans are answered.

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