London: Manchester City got back on track after their recent struggles as the Premier League champions cruised to a 3-0 win over Sunderland yesterday.
Roberto Mancini’s side have made a spluttering start to both their title defence and their assault on the Champions League, but they finally produced a convincing display as goals from Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero and James Milner saw off Sunderland at Eastlands.
It was just City’s second victory in their last seven fixtures in all competitions and their first cleansheet of the season at the 10th attempt.
The win lifted Mancini’s men into second place in the table, although Everton can climb back above them with a victory at Wigan later on Saturday.
“In the first half we missed two or three chances like in other games, but we had a good performance,” Mancini said.
“Every game is difficult in this moment. I am happy because we got a clean sheet and scored three, but also because of our performance.
“You can only beat Sunderland if you play well. They have a strong squad.”
City made the perfect start as Serbian defender Kolarov curled a superb fifth minute free-kick past Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Sunderland were the only team to take a point off City at home in the Premier League last season, but they never looked likely to emulate that feat as their five-match unbeaten run came to an end.
Argentine substitute Aguero got the decisive second goal on the hour when he steered in a Kolarov cross from close-range for his first goal at Eastlands since the dramatic strike that won the title on the final day of last season.
And England midfielder Milner capped City’s biggest win of the season with an 89th minute free-kick that glanced in off Sunderland’s Craig Gardner.