MAN CITY 4, SWANSEA CITY 0.
If fans favourite Carlos Tevez is to leave Manchester City, they have another Argentinean who is more than capable of stepping into his shoes at the Etihad Stadium.
It was easy to see why City manager Roberto Mancini described new-signing Sergio Aguero as a “special talent” as supporters were given an exciting glimpse of the £38million investment who is being viewed as his replacement.
The summer signing from Atletico Madrid made a spectacular debut with an eye-catching two-goal cameo in the final half hour of their opening Barclays Premier League match of the season at home to newly-promoted Swansea City.
Aguero, son-in-law of the great Diego Maradona, forced visiting keeper Michel Vorm into a spectacular save with his first touch.
He found the net within eight minutes, set up City’s third goal and scored a spectacular fourth confirming what many experts have been saying that he is potentially an even better player than Tevez.
Mancini believes Aguero has even more to offer which must scare the living daylights out of Premier League defenders.
He explained: “Aguero did well, but I don’t think he is 100-per-cent as he has only worked for one week with the team.
“I was not surprised as Aguero has scored a lot of goals in Argentina and Spain and he is a fantastic striker and special talent.
“He has only played with us for 10 days and 20 ago he was playing in Copa America. He needs to train more with us.”
Mancini added that he is lucky to have four top strikers – Aguero, Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli.
The Swans, returning to the top flight for the first time since 1983, were given a harsh lesson in what they might expect in the forthcoming campaign as they endured a baptism of fire.
After holding City for almost an hour, the Swans must have dreamed of causing an upset against the world’s richest club.
Once City made a breakthrough, however, the Swans were systematically taken apart as City exposed their limitations as they created 19 clear-cut scoring chances.
And City’s display of the final half hour sent out a chilling message to the rest of the Premier League as they claimed joint top spot after the first round of matches for what that is worth.
It was a far cry from the early stages when the Swans succeeded in taking the early sting out of City as they comfortably held them for much of the opening period.
City struggled to find a way through a congested midfield as the visitors employed a 4-5-1 formation as they used the pace of wingers Scott Sinclair and Nathan Dyer to support lone front man and record buy Danny Graham.
With Tevez not considered for selection and Aguero only on the bench, City lacked deadly firepower as Dzeko led the front line flanked by David Silva and Yaya Toure.
City only threatened sporadically. Indeed, it took them until the 24th minute before creating their first clear-cut chance when Silva forced a spectacular flying save from Vorm.
Spaniard Silva was proving to be City’s most effective attacking weapon as he also struck the bar on the half hour following a neat cut back from Adam Johnson.
Indeed, he could have completed a first half hat trick as he also volleyed disappointingly over from 10 yards after the Swans struggled to clear a corner.
It was only in first half stoppage time when City cranked up the ante when Dzeko burst clear after a slalom-like run only to be denied by a brilliant block by Dutch No 2 Vorm. And seconds later Gareth Barry rattled the frame of the Swans goal for a second time.
The Swans might have snatched an unlikely lead early in the second half after a 4 v 3 break in which Stephen Dobbie forced keeper Joe Hart into his first save of the match.
They were to pay for that miss as soon after Dzeko finally broke the deadlock in the 57th minute. Johnson cut in from the right and fired over a cross which Dzeko turned in at the far post.
Aguero made his entrance on the hour and with his first touch forced Vorm into a fine save as he almost had a dream start to his City career.
He took less than eight minutes to get on to the scoresheet as he slid in at the far post to convert a low cross from Micah Richards.
Silva was then rewarded for his efforts as he fired home a third goal in the 70th minute as Dzeko and Aguero linked superbly, though replays indicated the ball had gone out of play before Aguero hooked it back for the Spaniard to score.
Aguero saved the best until last when in stoppage time he scored City’s fourth goal, a spectacular drive from 25 yards which had the fans on their feet in adulation of their new hero.