Manuel Pellegrini's tenure at Manchester City got off to a dream start with a resounding 4-0 triumph over 10-man Newcastle United on Monday.
Victory means City top the table after the first weekend of the Premier League as the 2011-12 champions produced a masterclass at the Etihad Stadium.
David Silva opened the scoring with a header inside 10 minutes before Sergio Aguero extended the advantage with a neat finish from a wide angle. It got worse for Newcastle when Steven Taylor received his marching orders in first-half injury-time for striking the back of Aguero's head during an aerial challenge.
City's dominance continued after half-time as Yaya Toure marked his 100th Premier League appearance with a sublime curling free-kick and Samir Nasri completed the rout with 15 minutes remaining.
Fernandinho, who arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk in the close-season, was handed a competitive City debut along with Spain international Jesus Navas. But Alvaro Negredo, who joined with Navas from Sevilla, was only named among the substitutes.
Newcastle were without loan signing Loic Remy due to a calf injury, but perhaps of more interest to the St James' Park faithful was the omission of reported Arsenal target Yohan Cabaye, with manager Alan Pardew confirming the club had received a bid in the build-up to the game for the 27-year-old midfielder.
City started the game with plenty of intent and the early pressure led to the breakthrough in just the sixth minute.
Silva played in Edin Dzeko to the left-hand side of the penalty area and his low cross was deflected straight into the path of the Spaniard who had continued his run to head beyond the wrong-footed Tim Krul.
Newcastle thought they had found a quick response when Hatem Ben Arfa jinked his way to the edge of the area before playing a sublime throughball to Yoan Gouffran who fired beyond Joe Hart. Gouffran's celebrations, though, were curtailed by the offside flag.
City then had a huge shout for a penalty when Dzeko's perfectly weighted pass was collected by Toure deep in the box. He appeared to be tripped by Mathieu Debuchy but referee Andre Marriner waved away the protests.
In the 22nd minute, City did deservedly double their lead.
Vincent Kompany supplied Dzeko and he showed great vision to play a nonchalant backheel straight into Aguero's path. The Argentina international drove at Taylor onto his favoured right foot before firing expertly across Krul into the far corner.
Newcastle's situation worsened when Jonas Gutierrez departed with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Aguero then had legitimate penalty claims when Taylor appeared to handle his strike in the box. The Newcastle defender's evening was then brought to a premature end when he was shown a straight red card for striking the back of Aguero's head with his arm.
City picked up where they left off in the second half and Dzeko was again thwarted by Krul, who produced a superb athletic save to keep out the Bosnian's point-blank header.
But the third arrived in the 50th minute. Aguero won a free-kick left of centre of the goal and Toure curled his effort into the top corner.
The one sour note for City came with 20 minutes remaining when captain Kompany was replaced by Javi Garcia when the centre-back injured himself sliding for a challenge on Sammy Ameobi.
But it did not impact on City's fluency and Nasri made it four when he pounced on a loose ball in the 75th minute before coolly slotting beyond Krul.
Negredo came on to replace Silva with 10 minutes remaining and had the ball in the net only to be ruled offside, but it made no difference as City secured three comfortable points.
|Coach: M. Pellegrini|
for S. Agüero 62'
for V. Kompany 71'
for David Silva 80'
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