Aston Villa 1-6 Manchester City: Three standout players as reigning champions record stunning victory | Premier League 2019-20
Manchester City absolutely trounced Aston Villa on their own patch, turning up to score six goals against Dean Smith's side, eventually recording their biggest away win of the season.
A hat-trick from record-breaker Sergio Aguero, who may well go down as one of the best strikers of the game, accompanied by goals from Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus completed the rout. Anwar El Ghazi made no mistake to convert in the 91st minute after an error from Nicholas Otamendi awarded the hosts a paltry consolation.
It was more than just a complete display from Manchester City; there was polished passing, link-up and quality written all over the grass at Villa Park. Pep Guardiola's side took no less than three-four passes to carve through a defence that focused merely on loading numbers behind the ball and defending on the edge of the box.
The piece of tactical methodology doesn't often work against a side that knows how to overload players and pick passes through at will. On that note, we try to pick out three out of the many sensational performances for Manchester City against the Villans.
This may not go too well with the Kevin de Bruyne zealots, but such was the degree of precision and tempo at which Manchester City operated.
David Silva bagged a solitary assist to etch his name in a corner of this lush scorecard, but his performance extend well beyond the underlying numbers. Every time Villa broke free, he was there chasing the rest of the pack, to keep his side compact in the centre of the park.
The chemistry with de Bruyne in midfield, with as many as four-five Villa shirts around was a treat to the eye. It was almost as if Silva was pulling the puppet strings with Mahrez, de Bruyne, Jesus, Aguero and more often than not, Benjamin Mendy ahead of him.
The City skipper beautifully drifted into pockets of space and what's most important was his contribution when receiving the ball in such areas. His vision and passing were pin-point, and so was a gorgeously-taken free-kick that skimmed past the post.
With Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling lurking and serving Manchester City to their greatest potential, it was always going to be difficult for Riyad Mahrez.
But here he is, grabbing every opportunity with both hands. It's simple - when he starts, he scores and assists plenty of goals. And dare I say, the Algerian might well be right up there with de Bruyne as City's best player this season.
Yes, Villa were shoddy, static and awful. But his jinking run, use of body and technique to create space while faking opponents and then calmly slotting the ball past the near post gave the viewers a sense of the mood Manchester City would be in.
Mahrez then doubled the lead and massive credit goes to his development in front of goal. He's always been a terrific player on the ball from the right-hand side, but watching him plant strikes right through the middle was a sign of growth.
It is impossible to describe what Sergio Aguero has done in world football and the Premier League. Aguero's strikers were symbolic of the type of goals he scores - be it as a predator, a man with venom in his boots, or a forward capable of breaking open a backline himself. Well, he's now the highest-scoring non-English player in the history of the league.
Crushing Thierry Henry's record is no joke but the veteran striker has done so despite playing 3 league games fewer than the former Arsenal man. The Argentinian was extremely lively in and around the box and his first touch, in particular, was sensational on the night.