Mario Balotelli's first Manchester City hat-trick sent the Blues top of the Barclays Premier League after a 4-0 win over Aston Villa.

The Italian sent Brad Friedel the wrong way with two penalties and also netted a first-half tap-in after David Silva's shot had been palmed away.

Joleon Lescott also found the net with a near-post header against a wretched Villa outfit, who look increasingly as though they will be dragged into an unexpected relegation fight.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: