Hero Kun helps City smash six at Vil­lans

Manchester Evening News - - CITY - By STU­ART BREN­NAN stu­art.bren­[email protected] @StuBren­nanMEN

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)

29% 71%

7 22

2 4

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

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