Manchester City's 4-0 drubbing of Newcastle last night (Monday) brought an end to the opening round of Premier League fixtures in some style. A weekend that contained a number of talking points, provided an early insight into how the title race might shape up come the end of the season.
Manchester United were clinical in taking the three points at Swansea, were Chelsea looked the part at Stamford Bridge during their win over Hull. However it was City's performance last night, that has confirmed many people's status - including mine - that the title will once again be heading to the Etihad Stadium next May.
May 2012 saw City clinch the Premier League on the final day of the season, after a dramatic finale meant they snatched it from the grasp of city rivals United on goal difference. In typical Sir Alex Ferguson style, the Red Devils reacted to regain their status as champions of England a year later as the Scot bowed out in spectacular fashion.
But after a summer of change, which sees last season's top three all lead by new managers, Manchester City looked to have assembled a squad worthy of trumping United once again.
Manuel Pellegrini arrived from Malaga as a replacement for the departed Roberto Mancini, and took no time in putting his mark on an already impressive squad. Sevilla duo Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo, were joined by Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho and Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic as City spent big yet again. Four signings that add real quality to the side, all of whom of the back of impressive campaigns last term.
Yet it was the performance of Edin Dzeko that was most eye-catching during last night's win. The striker looks a new man under Pellegrini, and put in a performance of the highest quality. His work rate and the ability to bring other teammates into play was a key part of their victory.
Sergio Aguero looked sharp and Yaya Toure impressed alongside David Silva in the heart of the midfield, all three got themselves on the scoresheet. And finally their defence looked strong throughout as Newcastle struggled to make any clear cut chances. Vincent Kompany putting in the kind of assured display that saw him become crucial to the club's success over recent seasons.
With Negredo making a brief cameo from the bench, and Jovetic to come into the fold, it seems City's biggest problem might be giving their four strikers enough game time to keep them happy.
Pellegrini is no doubt intent on improving City's Champions League form this year, and he has assembled a squad capable of challenging on both European and domestic competitions. Providing they stay clear of many injuries, and after an ominous opening-day win, City look like real contenders for this season's title.
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