By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games
An imperious Manchester City coasted to a 3-0 win over Stoke City to continue their fine run of form in the Premier League, with Sergio Aguero grabbing a brace.
Micah occupied the right flank until injury forced him off early in the second half in an engaging, if not entirely challenging, match for the table-toppers.
Stoke gave as good as they got in the early stages of the encounter at the Etihad Stadium, testing both flanks and looking to unleash on goal at any given opportunity.
City were almost in front after 13 minutes as Adam Johnson cut inside and blasted a shot against the crossbar with Thomas Sorensen beaten, whilst Samir Nasri should have done better from the edge of the box after nice interchange with Aguero.
However, Aguero it was that nudged the hosts in front, a parry by Stoke’s goalkeeper falling to the Argentina international who found the back of the net to make it 1-0 after half an hour.
It was 2-0 not long after as Johnson collected a clearance and beat Sorensen from 25-yards, whilst the England midfielder’s free-kick minutes later was turned round the post by the stopper.
If the travelling support hoped for a turn around after the interval they were to be disappointed, with City’s in-form troupe continuing their assault on Stoke’s defence. Aguero went close twice early on only to be denied both times by Sorensen, but he wasn’t to be denied a third time moments later.
Nasri was once again involved and he cut the ball back to the advancing Aguero who tapped home to secure his 15th goal of the campaign so far, and City’s third of the evening.
Aguero was on fire and had numerous opportunities to complete his hat-trick in the period that followed, whilst Micah was forced off with a knock at the hour mark.
A deft flick by the Argentine forward set Gareth Barry up for a volley but Sorensen was on hand to make the block, whilst a momentary lapse in City’s defence saw Joe Hart miss his punch only for Marc Wilson to head wide.
There was a final chance for Johnson as he struck a low shot that was saved by Sorensen’s legs, and City settled for the 3-0 win that sets them up nicely for the packed festive programme.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya, Barry, Johnson, Silva, Nasri, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kolo, Savic, De Jong, Milner, Balotelli
Stoke City: Sorensen, Woodgate, Huth, Upson, Wilson, Shotton, Palacios, Whitehead, Jerome, Walters, Jones. Subs: Begovic, Fuller, Diao, Pennant, Delap, Etherington, Arismendi