Manchester City are the new leaders of the Barclays Premier League after an emphatic win over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

Mario Balotelli set City on their way with a stunning overhead kick, before Adam Johnson made it two shortly after half-time.

Vincent Kompany’s flicked header increased the lead, but after Stephen Warnock cut the deficit, James Milner’s stunning strike put the icing on City's cake.

Robert Mancini had the luxury of leaving out Samir Nasri, David Silva and Edin Dzeko from his starting line-up, while Sergio Aguero sat out as he continues to nurse a hamstring problem.

Villa were able to call upon Gabriel Agbonglahor after a back injury and the forward almost struck the opener but a strong stop from Joe Hart kept the score goalless.

Winless on the road, Villa had to contend with a City side that had netted 23 goals already this season, and the writing was on the wall for the visitors after 28 minutes when the hosts hit the front.

A sharp Mario Ballotelli netted his third league goal in stunning fashion improvised brilliantly with an acrobatic overhead kick after Johnson’s corner caused confusion in the visitors’ defence.

Johnson then turned scorer in the second period, doubling City’s tally with a tidy finish from Yaya Toure’s cross.

Minutes later Kompany capped a terrific move with a well-taken header from another Johnson corner to make certain of their win.

The struggling away side pulled one back as Charles N’Zogbia’s ball drifted towards back post and found Warnock who fired into the roof of the net.

It was the first league goal conceded at the Etihad Stadium this season, but any chances of a comeback were soon extinguish as Villa old boy Milner’s first time shot, after being teed up by Gareth Barry, curled wonderfully into the top left corner, with Given much like Villa, helpless.


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