Yaya Touré helps City record first win in Champions League since 2011
By Aaron Leggott
Manuel Pellegrini's men strolled to a convincing 3-0 victory in the Czech Republic last night, with goals from Edin Džeko, Yaya Touré and Sergio Agüero securing the win.
It probably would have had Roberto Mancini scratching his head as he sat at home - with only two new summer additions starting in a team that failed so badly under him in Europe last season.
The Italian will argue that his successor has been given a much kinder draw, but City played brilliantly during the whole 90 minutes and produced a European performance that was simply lacking far too often under Mancini.
|Photo: Official MCFC Facebook|
In truth, the first half was very 50/50, but City were very patient and except for Vincent Kompany's mis-hit back pass to Joe Hart midway through the first half, the Blues were very comfortable, with the hosts rarely troubling Hart's goal.
The Blues' start was a signal of intent against the Czech champions, and Jesús Navas nearly grabbed his first goal in a City shirt on seven minutes, only to see Matúš Kozáčik force the effort wide with a fine save.
Plzeň started to find a way back into the game, and helped by their tremendous support, created two dangerous chances - only for both Hart and Pablo Zabaleta to clear the problem.
City's best chance of the first half fell to the head of Džeko on 23 minutes after a pinpoint cross from Aleksandar Kolarov met the head of the Bosnian perfectly, but Džeko's effort was straight at Kozáčik, who was once again called into action to make a fine save.
Agüero also came close moments later after his effort drilled against the woodwork, before Kolarov smashed the rebound straight into the arms of Kozáčik.
The Blues got even closer as some neat play on the edge of the box found Navas clear, but some brilliant defending denied the Spaniard his first goal on the second occasion of the night.
Agüero hit the woodwork again just before half time, and it was starting to feel like one of those days for the 800 City fans that travelled to the Czech Republic. But after the break, the deadlock was finally broken after Džeko finished off some brilliant play from Agüero.
It was a superb ball over the top from Vincent Kompany to put Agüero through, and the Argentinian wriggled off the challenge of his man before squaring for Džeko, who had the simplest of tasks as he poked the ball past Kozáčik.
|Aguero was in superb form yesterday|
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook
The game started to kick into gear after the floodgates opened, and Yaya Touré grabbed the second just five minutes later with a goal of the season contender. After finding some room on the edge of the box, the Ivorian delivered a breathtaking strike from 25 yards as he curled the ball into the top corner. Quite possibly one of the best goals I've seen for a long time - simply stunning!
Plzeň just couldn't seem to deal with the Blues during this period, and Agüero made it three on 58 minutes, as his precise effort curled into the bottom corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
The game after that goal rather fizzled out, with City happy to keep possession, whilst Plzeň looked shocked and will be getting ready for a tough few months in Europe's elite competition.
A perfect warm-up for the Manchester Derby this weekend that will fill a lot up with plenty of confidence.