Aguero sparkles in City cameo to sink plucky Swans
MANCHESTER CITY 4
SWANSEA CITY 0
Published 16/08/2011 | 05:00
A new name for the ground, and a new name on the lips of Manchester City supporters at the Etihad Stadium. Sergio Aguero's second-half cameo was magnificent, bringing two goals, an assist and a strengthening belief that City will enjoy this season.
For £35m, fans should expect a lot and they certainly got a lot from Aguero last night. His second was sensational, one that his father-in-law would have been proud to call his own.
Diego Maradona's son-in-law can play a range of roles, from up top to a more scheming role in the hole. Although Edin Dzeko scored moments before Aguero arrived, he looked far happier with the classy company of City's new No 16.
After Aguero had turned in Micah Richards' cross, David Silva certainly relished his arrival, particularly when the substitute teed him up for City's third.
His assist showed the qualities in Aguero's creative game, his determination to win the ball, his athleticism to reach it and his vision to spot Silva's run. City fans loved it, embarking on a brisk Poznan dance.
Swansea looked stunned, although their fans never stopped singing.
No wonder. They have waited so long for this moment; even the contrast in wealth, embodied by Aguero, could not silence their fans. They also departed south with the memory of their first-half display when Leon Britton, short of stature but big on ambition, stood out in midfield.
Swansea's goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who is in for a very busy season, also impressed with some of his saves. But he had little chance when Aguero gave City real focus, real belief.
For almost an hour, City had struggled to break down the visitors. Aguero made such a difference, providing a sharper cutting edge, bringing team-mates into play. He has to start now. Dzeko made the breakthrough but it was Aguero who collected the headlines.
For almost an hour, Swansea's natural width, a thrilling element to their promotion campaign, had been a counterpoint to City's narrowness, even with Adam Johnson granted a rare start by Roberto Mancini. Showing little initial fear of their vaunted surroundings, Swansea had instantly impressed.
Their eventual evisceration cannot mask the excellence of their first-half display and for 20 minutes, City seemed to be paying too much respect to Swansea, but still a light blue wave rolled towards Swansea's goal.
Vorm denied Yaya Toure and then thwarted Dzeko, who had just dragged the ball around Steven Caulker. City seemed to be getting closer and closer. Gareth Barry struck the crossbar as the hosts swarmed forward.
City intensified their efforts after the break. Yaya Toure shot wide and then the muscular Ivorian charged in from the right only for Vorm to clutch his cross.
But then came Dzeko, calming local nerves. Silva, inevitably, was at the heart of the move that led to City's 57th-minute goal. Spotting Johnson's run, Silva picked out the Englishman, who cut inside and unleashed a shot that Vorm palmed away. It hit Dzeko and rebounded in.
As if to remind Swansea of the gulf in financial class, City then introduced Aguero, who almost scored with his first touch.
He soon hit the net though, within eight minutes of coming on, timing his run perfectly towards the far post to turn in Richards' cross.
Aguero had not finished, hooking the ball across, albeit after it had probably crossed the line, for Silva to make it 3-0.
Aguero continued to command the attention and sent a right-footed 25-yarder dipping past Vorm in injury-time.
What a goal. What a signing. City are up and running. (© Daily Telegraph, London)