Sometimes you’ve just got to hold your hands up and say ‘they’re a good side’ and yesterday that sentiment was true as Manchester City ran out 3-0 winners over the Latics.
A hat-trick from Sergio Aguero proved that money can buy quality and he showed why Mancini paid £36 million for him this summer; his three goals were taken with precision finishing leaving Al-Habsi no chance of getting to any of them, a master class in goalscoring.
In the first half Clichy, Tevez and Silva ran triangles all around Emmerson Boyce down the Latics right side, their movement both with and off the ball was frighteningly quick and incisive, on 13 minutes the first goal came, David Silva picking the ball up in the Latics box skipped inside then knocked to Aguero, the Argentine striker moved to his right, making the angle, then fired across Al-Habsi into the far corner, 1-0.
Al-Habsi saved a penalty from Tevez on 20 minutes after David Silva had been clattered into by Adrian Lopez, the Oman international diving low to his right to keep out the spot kick, at the other end Franco Di Santo was unlucky when beating City keeper Joe Hart to the ball on the edge of the area, the Latics striker stuck out his foot to send the ball goalwards, unfortunately it swerved away from rather than towards the goal.
The second half saw the Latics grow a little more into the game, they had some decent possession, Di Santo was working tirelessly and Moses was proving a threat with his roving runs, but it was City who went further in front, Silva and City sub Nasri combined to set up Aguero who cooly slotted home, 2-0.
Six minutes later and City wrapped up the points, Aguero breaking through the middle and calmly firing past Al-Habsi to seal the win, 3-0.
Although riding their luck at times, the Latics played some decent football in spells, created chances of their own and despite the scoreline came out of the game with their heads held high, there will be many a team getting absolutely trounced at the hands of City this season, all things considered not too bad a day for Martinez and his men.
As a footnote, it was good to see Albert Crusat finally in a Latics shirt, he made a cameo appearance coming on with 20 minutes to go and the Latics 3 down, so no judgements made yet, he did look busy and, very, very small
All in article images by permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Manchester City: Hart; Richards, Clichy, Kompany, Lescott, Yaya Toure (Razak, 79), Johnson, Milner, Silva, Aguero (Balotelli, 71) , Tevez (Nasri, 63)
Subs: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Nasri, Razak, Balotelli, Dzeko
Latics: Al-Habsi; Boyce (Stam, 59), Caldwell, Lopez, Figueroa, Diame, Watson (Crusat, 69), Moses, McArthur, Di Santo (Gomez 69), Rodallega