MAN CITY 3, WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Carlos Tevez made his first City start of the season after a much publicised summer transfer saga, but the Argentine was eclipsed on the pitch by his strike partner and fellow countryman Sergio Aguero whose hat trick saw off a Wigan side which was clearly in awe of their hosts.
Aguero mesmerised Wigan as he continued his remarkable start to his career in English football as his first four appearances – three starts and one off the bench – has yielded a remarkable six goals as he is already repaying dividends on the huge £38million fee City paid for him.
And with leading marksman Edin Dzeko rested, Aguero took over the goalscoring mantle with an impressive treble to single-handedly secure the points for City.
Had City displayed a ruthless cutting edge, they could easily have hit double figures such was their dominance and authority which even had Wigan manager Roberto Martinez admitting they were a joy to watch as comparison were made to Barcelona.
Martinez said: “When Barca started three years ago, that produced little flashes like City show. But no one can be compared to Barcelona yet. You have to win many titles and play many games together.
“What is quite clear, though, is that this City have the capabilility to achieve anything.”
City manager Roberto Mancini made four changes from the team which won 5-1 at Tottenham on their last outing as Micah Richards. James Milner, Adam Johnson and Tevez replaced Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, Samir Nasri and Dzeko.
Mancini clearly had an eye on City’s debut in the Champions League when they play Napoli on Wednesday when you viewed his team selection and the omissions of Dzeko and Nasri.
It had been abundantly clear from the start that Wigan were overawed by City, the hosts in this unequal contest as they had recorded 15 attempts on goal to their visitors three by half time.
City had already wasted a raft of chances by the time Aguero handed City a 13th minute lead with a cleverly-taken strike from David Silva’s slide-rule pass.
City ought to have been well on the road to victory minutes later when Silva was upended in the penalty area, but Tevez struck a weak penalty which gave Ali Al Habsi plenty of time to acrobatically dive to his right to save.
Although Franco Di Santo offered City’s defenders something to think about with some dangerous breaks, Vincent Kompany and Richards struck the woodwork as Wigan wilted under the subsequent City assault but somehow managed to keep the deficit down to 1-0 at half time.
Any thoughts that Wigan may have harboured of causing a City wobble were gone after Nasri replaced Tevez after an hour and promptly set up Aguero’s second with a delightful through ball.
Silva helped put the result beyond doubt when he effortlessly danced past challenges from a trio of Wigan players and pushed the ball to Aguero to set up his hat trick as the day and match ball belonged to him.