Premier League: Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0
Manchester City started 2013 in perfect fashion as they strolled past Stoke City with a comfortable 3-0 victory on Tuesday.
The visitors were able to frustrate their hosts for the majority of the first half at Etihad Stadium but needed a little bit of luck to stay level.
That good fortunate ran out in the 43rd minute when Pablo Zabaleta opened the scoring after Asmir Begovic cleared a low cross into his path.
Edin Dzeko doubled the home side's lead at the start of the second half with a simple tap-in after Begovic had failed to deal with Sergio Aguero's low shot.
The win was secured in the 74th minute when Aguero fired home a controversial penalty after David Silva was deemed to have been tripped inside the area by Steven N'Zonzi.
Roberto Mancini gave Joleon Lescott his first start for a month alongside Vincent Kompany at the heart of the City defence and the Italian manager's only other change saw James Milner replace the suspended Samir Nasri.
Stoke made four changes to the side that drew with Southampton as Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron, Charlie Adam and Cameron Jerome were all recalled to the starting line-up, with Matthew Upson, Ryan Shotton, Matthew Etherington and Michael Kightly all dropping to the bench.
The hosts dominated possession throughout the opening half and could have been further ahead than they were at the break after they wasted some excellent opportunities.
The main culprit was Aguero, who had chances to score before the deadlock was finally broken two minutes before the break.
The Argentine's first sight of goal came from a beautiful chipped through-ball from Gareth Barry, Aguero controlling the ball well but lashing his shot over the bar, much to the relief of Begovic.
Aguero's other chance came when he met a Barry cross at the near post, but his header crashed against the other upright.
It was another Argentine who got the goal City had been looking for in the closing minutes of the half, as Zabaleta grabbed his second strike of the season.
The fullback released Milner inside the penalty area, whose low cross was pushed out by Begovic's foot only as far as Zabaleta, and he fired through a crowd to open the scoring.
The second half began in the same way as the first had finished, with the hosts on top.
And they did not have to wait long before adding to their tally, Dzeko applying the finishing touch following an Aguero shot.
Yaya Toure released the Argentine inside the area, he fired low effort at Begovic and the keeper failed to hold onto the ball, allowing Dzeko to tap in from two yards out.
The victory was secured in the 73rd minute as Silva was brought down by N'Zonzi.
There was some contention as to whether contact occured on the edge of or inside the penalty area, but a penalty was awarded and Aguero made no mistake from the spot as he fired under the dive of Begovic.