Hero Kun helps City smash six at Villans
His storming runs down the right were very effective – a real challenge to Kyle Walker now.
Looked like the Rolls Royce defender City bought – quick, smart and decisive, with a hint of steel.
Eased through an hour, applying his supreme powers of anticipation and timing to ensure Villa were limited.
Gave City a threat down the left, and mixed up his crosses well – he was sound at the back, too.
Provided the solid foundation for all the decorative work ahead of him – physically dominant, passing perfect.
Absolutely unstoppable, creating goals and chances at will – his substitution was an act of mercy as much as a rotation.
Found acres of space and utilised it brilliantly – the recent injury break has done him plenty of good, much sharper.
Kicked it all off with two goals, the first a cracker, and kept his standard high throughout.
Three more classic Kun goals took him to 249 for the Blues, but his all-round approach work was also terrific.
Quiet until he popped up to score the fourth goal, and then he started to ravage the Villa right flank.
NICOLAS OTAMENDI: (Fernandinho 63) Easy minutes. 6
PHIL FODEN: (De Bruyne 63) Easy does it. 6 ILKAY GUNDOGAN: (Rodri 71) Joined the carnage. 7
NOT USED: Bravo, Walker, Sterling, Bernardo
JUST imagine what City might have done to United if they HAD fielded a full team at Old Trafford.
Reds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this week measured his team’s progress by the fact that the Blues had to go full strength against them in the Carabao Cup.
Well, City made six changes at Villa Park – including the return of all-time top scorer, derby tormentor and general Blue legend Sergio Aguero – as well as Ederson and David Silva, and scored six.
Solskjaer might not have noticed such little details, but the Villa defence did especially with regard to Aguero.
The dynamite little Argentine bagged a hat-trick – his 12th in the Premier League, another record – while Riyad Mahrez scored a brace and Gabriel Jesus also weighed in.
The win sends City back into second place as their tussle with Leicester for the right to finish in behind runaway leaders Liverpool continues apace.
Pep Guardiola had gone from the sublime to the sublime in his team selection and set-up, bamboozling Solskjaer on Tuesday by naming no strikers at all and similarly bemusing Villa’s Dean Smith by picking BOTH.
The Blues boss does not fancy playing both Jesus and Aguero in the same game – he has done it just 11 times since the Brazil number nine joined the Argentina number 10 in the squad three years ago,
But City have now scored 40 goals in those 11 games and Jesus and Aguero have shared out 22. Perhaps he should
El Ghazi (90 pen) Mahrez (18,24), Aguero (28, 57, 81), Jesus (45)
El Ghazi, Grealish Fernandinho
do it more often! It was a slow start by the Blues, but Joao Cancelo lit the touchpaper with a rush of blood which saw him storm between two defenders and almost set up Jesus for the opener.
That stirred the blood of the City boys, and perhaps gave Mahrez the notion that directness pays dividends in a game like this.
When the outstanding Kevin de Bruyne dummied a pass, the Algeria international needed no second invitation, driving hard into the area, slaloming between two defenders and then catching keeper Orjan Nyland unawares by slapping an early left-foot shot inside his near post.
That set the tone and City were relentless from then on.
Another slick build-up saw Aguero dart for the by-line and pull it back, and when Danny Drinkwater made a hash of clearing it, David Silva stuck his foot in, the ball reached Mahrez, and he