Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City assured themselves of top spot in the Barclays Premier League at Christmas as they strolled to victory over Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium.
The £38 million summer acquisition from Athletico Madrid showed his predatory side in disposing of last season fellow FA Cup finalists, tapping home after assists from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri either side of half-time.
In-between, Adam Johnson used his opportunity to impress to full effect, firing home nine minutes before the break, as the league leaders strolled against Tony Pulis’ brave Potters.
City began the evening looking to secure top spot in the Premier League at Christmas, knowing the full significance the festive advantage has previously proven to be, and Roberto Mancini’s side began a ruthless evening’s work just before the half hour.
The hosts’ early dominance in possession was rewarded after 29 minutes when Toure fed Aguero, looking suspiciously offside, to tap into an empty net.
It was the Argentine’s 12th league goal of the season, and few will come easier to City’s leading scorer.
If Aguero’s opener had more than a slice of luck attached to it, then the home side’s second was douced in quality as Johnson struck a left-footed effort which flew past a motionless Thomas Sorensen.
The FA Cup runners-up posed more of a threat in the second half, but it was City who struck again, Aguero tapping in after being found by Nasri.
Stoke offered little in the way of an attacking threat following Aguero’s coolly taken third as City continued their unbeaten run at home in 2011, leaving them in pole position to win their first Premier League title, during the post festive run in.