Manchester City 5-0 Aston Villa: 5 Talking Points
A goal from David Silva followed by a brace for Argentines Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero did the damage as Roberto Mancini's side turned on the style.
Here are five talking points that emerged from his high-scoring affair.
City Don't Struggle Where United Do
Manchester City may have moved to the summit of the table, but they're still pretty much neck and neck with crosstown rivals Manchester United.
It would be fair to say, however, that the Citizens despatch the "lesser teams" with consummate ease while the Red Devils struggle immensely.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side have gone behind in so many games and launched famous comebacks to take the spoils, but why is that considered a positive?
Do what City did if you don't want to exhaust yourselves—put teams like Villa away comfortably.
Bad Decisions Have Serious Long-Lasting Effects
After Aston Villa's courageous performance against Manchester United last week, it came as no surprise to see an unchanged starting XI followed by an unchanged game plan.
Built to frustrate and stifle, Paul Lambert's side were tough to break down, and it took a bundled, scrappy goal to get the ball rolling in Manchester City's favour.
At 1-0, Christian Benteke still posed a genuine threat, but a shocking penalty decision against Andreas Weimann was the beginning of the end for the claret-and-blue side.
Mentally speaking, they left the game. Barry Bannan's unfortunate handball for a second penalty all but confirmed the mauling.
Villa failed to snap out of a state of shock and paid the price in goal difference.
Set Pieces Still an Issue for Villa
Last season, Aston Villa were simply terrible from set pieces.
Despite possessing the formidable duo of James Collins and Richard Dunne, they let in goal after goal after goal from corners and free kicks.
After surviving relegation by the skin of their teeth, you'd think that would be one of the first things Paul Lambert sorted out, wouldn't you?
Opening day of the season saw West Ham score from a free kick. Fulham bagged a 1-0 win courtesy of a near-post corner, Javier Hernandez scored his winner from a free kick and City scored three set-piece goals Saturday.
Fix the problems.
City Coming into Form at the Right Time
Manchester City have been patchy so far this season and, despite sitting atop the English Premier League table, have failed to show their title-winning form from last season.
But the last two domestic results will give Roberto Mancini cause for hope in the run-in to the biggest match the club has faced this century.
When Real Madrid visit the Etihad Stadium next week, the Citizens will need to be at their very best to beat Karim Benzema and co.
They're not going to keep a clean sheet, but Los Blancos aren't likely to either. This is set for a shootout, and guys like Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez bagging braces can only be positive.
City Are Simply Frightening
When Manchester City hit their stride—and that's been an unfortunate rarity this season—they're simply phenomenal.
Squad for squad they are unquestionably the strongest in the English Premier League and hold the capacity to trample any team it faces.
Put it this way—Aston Villa lost by the same margin at the Etihad this weekend as Manchester United did at Old Trafford last season.
Sometimes you can only sit back and admire Roberto Mancini's team of wizards, but more often than not you have to question why they can't find this imperious form more often.