Sergio Aguero And Nolito Steer Manchester City To victory At Stoke
Manchester City made it six points from two Premier League games under Pep Guardiola as they won 4-1 at Stoke City, with Sergio Aguero and Nolito both scoring twice.
The visitors made a bright start on a blustery day in the Potteries and twice threatened to open the scoring before 10 minutes had been played.
First Fernandinho marginally overhit a through ball aimed for Kevin De Bruyne, and then Aguero left a couple of defenders trailing before wasting the chance to deliver a telling cross.
But Stoke, with Joe Allen showing some neat touches, began to create chances of their own after Raheem Sterling had blazed another effort over the top for the visitors.
Giannelli Imbula trundled a tame effort towards Willy Caballero after the ball had broken to him on the edge of the area following a sharp Stoke attack, and then Allen saw his attempt to steer the ball into the six-yard box thwarted by Nicolas Otamendi.
But the deadlock was broken after 27 minutes when Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross held Otamendi at a corner and referee Mike Dean pointed to the penalty spot.
Aguero, despite missing two penalties in the Champions League in midweek, strode forward to smash the ball high past Shay Given.
The visitors were galvanised by that breakthrough and doubled the lead moments later when Aguero got on the end of a fine De Bruyne free kick to head firmly past Given and into the corner.
Caballero made a fine save to prevent Phil Bardsley from cutting the deficit before the break, and then Aleksandar Kolarov appeared to bring Allen down inside the area but the referee waved play on.
But Stoke were handed a route back into the game just three minutes into the second half when Sterling was adjudged to have obstructed Shawcross, with Bojan thumping the penalty home to halve the deficit.
But although the home side continued to press, a John Stones challenge thwarted Mame Biram Diouf before Caballero came racing off his line to [email protected] the ball clear as Diouf looked set to profit.
Stoke appealed for a late penalty as Sterling appeared to have a foot high on substitute Jon Walters, but Dean again waved away the protests as Guardiola’s side held on to make it six points from six and go second in the table.
Nolito put the game beyond any doubt, sweeping home the third from a few yards out after the ball had been cut back across the area by substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.
And with seconds of injury time remaining, Sterling supplied Nolito with his second close-range finish of the afternoon.