Sergio Aguero found the net on his 300th appearance for Manchester City as the champions dismantled Cardiff City in a 5-0 win.
Pep Guardiola omitted John Stones and David Silva from his team for the trip to South Wales, with Benjamin Mendy still injured. But this did nothing to knock City from their stride as they turned in a dominant performance.
City scored twice in quick succession to give themselves a two-goal cushion through Aguero and Bernardo Silva, with Ilkay Gundogan adding a third before the half time interval.
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Riyad Mahrez came off the bench to score the champions’ fourth goal, finishing off an excellent team move from close range, and a fifth too, pouncing on a mistake to lash home a left-footed finish late on.
This result keeps Guardiola’s side on the tails of Liverpool, who kept up their 100 per cent start to the season with a win over Southampton, with the Premier League title race already starting to hot up as we head into the autumn and winter months.
Riyad Mahrez celebrates with Raheem Sterling
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Bernardo Silva is becoming the heartbeat of this City side. It took some time for Bernardo to find his feet at Manchester City, only hitting form towards the end of last season. But the Portuguese midfielder has carried that form over the summer and into the start of the 2018-19 season. Silva was missing for the champions in South Wales, but the other Silva of the Bernardo variation was in top form, scoring one and assisting another. He is becoming the heartbeat of this team.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City): Given his scoring record, it was something of a peculiar quirk that before today Aguero hadn’t scored an away goal in the Premier League since December 2017. The Argentinean eradicated that record, though, and turned in a sparking performance to put Cardiff City to the sword. On another day, he would have finished the game with more than just the single goal.
Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's first goal
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Cardiff City: Etheridge 7, Peltier 5, Morrison 5, Ecuele Manga 5, Cunningham 6, Camarasa 5, Arter 5, Ralls 4, Hoilett 5, Reid 5, Ward 5. Subs - Richards 6, Zahore 5, Murphy 5.
Manchester City: Ederson 6, Walker 6, Laporte 5, Otamendi 5, Delph 6, Fernandinho 6, Gundogan 8, Sterling 7, Sane 7, Bernardo 8, Aguero 8. Subs - Mahrez 7, Foden 6, Stones 5.
30’ - SHOULD SCORE! That's a golden opportunity. The German midfielder tees himself up really nicely inside the box, but he somehow sidefoots on the bounce over the target.
31’ - GOAL! Cardiff 0-1 Man City. Man City finally have the opener! The move started with an Ederson throw out, Bernardo then fed the ball to Aguero who wrapped his foot around the finish and found the bottom corner of the Cardiff net!
34’ - GOAL! Cardiff 0-2 Man City. He got the assist for the opening goal and now Bernardo has a goal of his own! It was a looping header from the Portuguese attacking midfielder. The cross from Sane was a good one! Maybe slightly lucky.
44’ - GOAL! Cardiff 0-3 Man City. What. A. Goal. You need to see this. City have added a third and it's Gundogan, who fires into the top corner from 20 yards after a neat one-two with Sterling. The champions are flying here!
67’ - GOAL! Cardiff 0-4 Man City. He's off the mark for City! Mahrez has his goal. Sterling cut open the Cardiff defence, with Gundogan squaring for Mahrez to finish into the gaping net from close range. What a fantastic team goal!
89’ - GOAL! Cardiff 0-5 Man City. There's the gloss that this performance from Man City probably deserves. Mahrez has grabbed his second, and City's fifth, pouncing on a mistake in the opposition penalty area and lashing home a finish.
Sergio Aguero scored an away goal in the Premier League for the first time since December 2017.
No player has provided more Premier League assists since the start of last season than Leroy Sane (16).
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