Sergio Aguero’s masterclass helped Manchester City to a 4-1 Premier League victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The striker took his goal tally to 19 in all competitions for the campaign as Manuel Pellegrini’s side claimed the points on Wednesday to remain second in the table.
It looked like City may be in for a tricky evening against a team they have not beaten in their last four league meetings when Connor Wickham fortuitously put Sunderland ahead.
But Aguero had other ideas and, having rocketed home a brilliant solo goal, turned provider for Stevan Jovetic to make it 2-1 six minutes before half-time.
Suddenly struggling to repeat the defending that earned a goalless draw against Chelsea on Saturday, Gus Poyet’s men were pegged back further as Pablo Zabaleta added a third goal not long after the interval.
And Aguero was back on centre stage in the 71st minute, converting coolly to wrap up a comfortable night’s work for City.
The visiting side went into the game under a cloud of defensive issues with skipper Vincent company injured and Eliaquim Mangala suspended after his dismissal in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Southampton.