Citizens put plucky Potters to the sword

Manchester City produced a composed performance as they cruised to a 4-1 victory over Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

  • Stoke City 1 Manchester City 4
  • Augero grabs opener from the spot
  • The Argentine gets his second soon after
  • Bojan reduced deficit from the penalty spot
  • Substitute Nolito bags a brace

Summary

Manchester City’s pressure paid off when Ryan Shawcross hauled back Nicolas Otamendi in the box to concede a penalty. Augero made no mistake with the spot-kick.

The 28-year-old hitman was on target again soon after, heading home a fantastic free-kick from the excellent de Bruyne.

Stoke pulled a goal back early in the second half also via the penalty spot, Bojan Krkic the man trusted with the spot-kick.

On 85 minutes, the visitors put the result beyond doubt as Kelechi Iheanacho’s lovely run into the box resulted in Nolito’s first Premier League goal.

The Spaniard made it 4-1 with another tap-in seconds from the full-time whistle.

Full report

The visitors started well, drawing Shay Given out to clear two dangerous opportunities – the first a free-kick into the box from Kevin de Bruyne and the second a confident charge-down on the same player.

Stoke hit back with a counter-attack through Marko Arnautovic. The winger was put through by a delightful through-pass and had acres of space to cut the ball back to Giannelli Imbula but a vital interception by John Stones cleared the danger.

A De Bruyne break down the left flank was well dealt with by Ryan Shawcross. The Potters defender did extremely well to deal with the Belgian’s low cross into the box where Sergio Aguero was waiting to finish what would have been an easy chance.

The Citizens again left themselves exposed to a counter attack. Arnautovic was again at the heart of the move, sending a dangerous cross into the box but Nicolas Otamendi was there to clear. The ball fell to Joe Allen who attempted a long-range strike but failed to test Willy Caballero.

On 26 minutes, Ryan Shawcross was rightly adjudged to have manhandled Otamendi in the penalty area and the referee awarded the penalty. Despite his midweek troubles with scoring from the spot, Aguero stepped up and made no mistake to send his team in front.

Ten minutes later, the Argentina international made it two, heading a fantastic free-kick from de Bruyne into the bottom-left corner past a diving Given.

The Potters very nearly struck back soon after. Phil Bardsley found himself at the end of a great Erik Pieters cross and the unmarked fullback smashed a volley at a tight angle into Cabalerro, who did very well to keep the ball out.

A very convincing penalty shout was turned away by the referee after Otamendi bundled over Allen in the box much to the disgust of the Stoke players.

The second half couldn’t have started much better for the home side as Sterling was adjudged to have hauled back Shawcross as they settled under a corner kick. Krkic stepped up and made it 2-1.

There was more end-to-end action following the goal, with both teams looking sharp going forward. It was entertaining stuff for the following 20 minutes without there being any clear-cut chances.

With five minutes left, though, a terrific run from supersub Iheanacho resulted in third for the Citizens. The 19-year-old was sent through on the right-hand flank by David Silva and managed to round Given and cut back a pass for Nolito, who finished powerfully into an open net to open his Premier League account.

The Spaniard completed his brace two minutes later as City’s counter-attack, via Sterling, resulted in another tap-in into an open net.

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