Manchester City’s boss Manuel Pellegrini watched his side record their first victory of the new Premier League season with a 4-0 thumping of Newcastle on Monday.
The Chilean, who took over from Roberto Mancini after last season’s dismal performance however stuck to the traditional 4-2-3-1 formation with David Silva, Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero all playing behind Eden Dzeko.
“I’m very happy, really very happy, not only because we won the match but the way we played in 90 minutes, that was the most important thing. I link both things,” Pellegrini said of the victory.
Goals from Silva, Aguero, Toure and substitute Samir Nasri ensured last season’s runner-ups assume the top of the table ahead of their neighbours Manchester United on goal difference.
Under the tutelage of the new manager, City adopted a pressing style of football, won the ball in their opponent’s half on numerous occasions and closed down the ball quicker than last season.
Five minutes into the encounter, Pablo Zabaleta, who signed a new four-year contract on Monday, set up Aguero and Dzeko with only Tim Krul in goal to deny an early opportunity.
The goalkeeper was not going to deny Silva a minute later after a Dzeko’s blasted ball across the face of goal was partially cleared by Steven Taylor, before the loose ball was headed home past a wrong-footed Krul.
Newcastle almost crafted out an equaliser through the wizardry of Hatem Ben Arfa in the 12th minute. The Frenchman’s quick feet took him past a couple of defenders and then poked the ball through to compatriot Yoan Gouffran who hammered into the net only for his effort to be ruled offside.
City increased the tally after a quick interchange between Vincent Kompany and Dzeko sent Aguero clear at goal. The Argentine outpaced Taylor before stroking a precise finish wide of Dutch keeper Krul inside the far post.
Cheik Tiote’s effort from 40 yards in the first-half regulation time was comfortably saved by Joe Hart before Taylor saw a straight red on the stroke of half-time for swinging a forearm towards Aguero as the pair jostled for a dropping ball.
“The performance up until the sending off was pretty sound,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said in his post-match spin.
“The two goals city scored, they have a lot of talent, but we threatened their goal and we looked like we could get something, but it was a silly act from Steven Taylor and he has apologised to the lads.”
Team Krul was called into action 5 minutes after the restart, clawing out a Dzeko header but failed to keep out a Yaya Toure free kick, seconds later after a poor judgment of the ball by the Newcastle wall.
Krul’s reaction showed he thought the wall should have done better after a three-goal margin had long been registered. Aguero almost scored a powerful shot in the 55th minute but for the safe hands of Krul.
Dzeko’s low drive from 25 yards few minutes past the hour mark was turned behind for a corner by Krul.
Nasri, who came on for Aguero, capitalised on City’s leaky defence in the 75th minute to calmly slot into the bottom corner the fourth goal.
A Navas’ pinpoint cross to Dzeko in the 81st minute was headed over the top by the Bosnian striker.
Alvaro Negredo, who City signed from Sevilla, was, however, denied a debut goal in the final five minutes of the match.
The Spaniard was on hand at the far post to turn the ball home after Krul had pushed away Dzeko’s header but the assistant referee flagged offside.
With Negredo and Dzeko missing a goal-scoring opportunity each, referee Andre Marriner brought the one-sided proceedings to a close.