This was an excellent City team performance and an easy win against a poor Stoke side that could only manage to test Joe Hart once during the 90 minutes. City dominated possession especially in the first half and might have had a few more goals but it was left to Zabaleta to finish off an attack just before the interval. It was his second this season and is in such good form that Richards will have difficulty in getting his place back. Lescott brought back to counter the Stoke height problem at corners did make one dodgy back pass to Hart early on but like Kompany who was able to make the odd foray into the final third did not have a great deal to do as Stoke often had ten men behind the ball. Barry and Milner worked really hard while Yaya Toure in his last League game before the Africa Cup had a better game Aguero and Dzeko played well together and both scored. However Aguero went off with an injury that might keep him off the pitch for a week or so. David Silva was once again our inspiration up front. Just wish he could score goals like Messi!
City made 2 changes from the win at Norwich, Clichy and Lescott coming back while Dzeko and Aguero continued up front. No sign of Balotelli
Stoke failed to sell all of their allocation despite the travel distance
City were early on the attack and Aguero first tested Begovic at the near post before shooting just over the bar
On 22minutes Aguero had a good effort well saved by the keeper
City continue to pressurize the Stoke goal.....
.. on 32 minutes Aguero hits the post
Lescott heads clear from Kenwyne Jones
Referee Oliver has a word with the Stoke keeper as he was taking too long with his goal kicks.
Dzeko is brought down at the edge of the area.....
...but the free kick hit the wall and it looks a bit like a rugby scrum!
Then just before half time Milner made run down the right flank....
....and Dzeko 's shot was blocked by the keeper straight to Zabaleta who stroked the ball home with his left foot!
He was just a bit pleased with his effort -he's obviously being watching Messi!
At half time we had a battle of the 'Bulges' in the centre circle .
Straight after half time Aguero was brought down by Huth
...who got a yellow card
a minute or so later a great pass from Toure found Dzeko whose first time effort just went over the bar
Dzeko did not have to wait too long for a goal as he had a tap in following a great run by Aguero .
Two nil to City and we were now comfortable.
Alas Dzeko took his shirt off to display New Year Greetings and got a needless yellow card .
He could have just lifted his shirt up!
Stoke then actually came into our half and won free kick which was cleared
They did apply a bit of pressure on the City goal
On 73 minutes Silva made a run down the left wing and just as he entered the penalty area he was brought down by N'Zonzi and the referee warded a penalty
A yellow card was produced and Silva had to have some treatment for his shoulder hurt in the fall
Aguero scored from the penalty but Begovic almost saved it.
A few minutes later Aguero stopped in the middle of a run holding the back of his leg and he was replaced by Tevez sporting a new pair of boots.
With only a few minutes left Hart had to save from a long range shot by Glenn Whelan. His only major save during the match

Hart 7: Zabaleta 8, Kompany 7.5, Lescott 7, Clichy 7.5: Yaya Toure 7.5, Barry 8, Silva 8 (Sinclair), Milner 7.5, Aguero 7.5 (Tevez) Dzeko 7.5 (Razak)

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