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.
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