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Published: 13:45 | 20/8/16

Man City march to win at Stoke

Doubles from Aguero and Nolito in Potteries triumph

Sergio Aguero and substitute Nolito netted a brace apiece in a 4-1 Premier League victory for Manchester City over Stoke City in the Staffordshire Potteries.

Aguero’s penalty kick, after Mike Dean referee had acted strictly on holding in the box, opened the scoring in the 27th minute.

The former Atletico Madrid forward headed in the away side’s second, before Stoke ought to have been awarded a spot kick of their own for a trip by Aleksandar Kolarov on Joe Allen.

However, Dean proved to be consistent in pointing to the spot early in the second half for further penalty-area holding, allowing Bojan to pull a goal back.

The advancing Stoke, though, were caught out when Nolito scored from fellow substitute’s Kelechi Iheanacho calm set-up, effectively confirming the visitors’ triumph.

Raheem Sterling fed Nolito for a simple finish at the death to add to the away side’s tally.

Man City join local rivals Manchester United on maximum points, with each having played two games.

Stoke matched Pep Guardiola’s men for long periods of Saturday afternoon’s encounter but were ultimately unable to fully recover from Aguero’s first-half brace.

When Dean penalised Ryan Shawcross for holding Nicolas Otamendi as a Sterling corner arrived in the box, Aguero netted from the spot. The Argentine had missed two penalties in City’s 5-0 hammering of Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday but confidently sent Shay Given the wrong way from 12 yards.

Nine minutes later, Aguero doubled the visitors lead, expertly glancing a header beyond Given from Kevin De Bruyne’s wicked free-kick delivery.

Stoke produced plenty in attack during the first period, with Gianelli Imbula wasting a very good chance while the game was scoreless.

Following Aguero’s double, Phil Bardsley brought a fine save from Willy Caballero, immediately prior to Kolarov’s unpunished indiscretion, and Mame Biram Diouf headed off target in the aftermath, allowing the Mancunian side to enter the break with a two-goal advantage.

Stoke hit back four minutes into the second half. Sterling was spotted shoving and grabbing Shawcross, Dean decided on a penalty, and Bojan swept the resultant dead ball home.

Stoke applied plenty of pressure in the search for the leveller but failed to create a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

With the hosts pushing, David Silva played in Iheanacho, who rounded Given and coolly rolled the ball square rather than shoot from an awkward angle, allowing Nolito to slam in the confirmation strike from six yards.

Deep into injury time, Sterling benefitted from a clever Iheanacho dummy to pass the ball to the side of the exposed Given for Nolito to find the unguarded net.

Guardiola’s developing troops are justifying their tag, albeit a little shakily, as favourites to lift the domestic title. In particular, with Aguero in excellent form – despite his two penalty misses, the striker netted a treble in the Champions League win in Romania - City again took to have an attacking blend that is more potent than any other in English top flight.

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