Well, that was fair. Aston Villa went to the Etihad Stadium looking for a defensive display and a possible point, but events conspired to see them lose 5-0 instead. It took a pair of bizarre penalty calls and a frankly ugly goal to break the deadlock, which speaks well of the visitors, but the way they crumbled once Manchester City turned on the style after the interval did not.
In truth, the visitors had their chances before the break. VIlla played on the counterattack and did so very well, with Joe Hart having to pull off a very good save to deny Christian Benteke when the Belgian looked certain to score with a header. But once the hosts went ahead -- and they did at the stroke of halftime after an odd goalmouth scramble saw the ball bounce from Vincent Kompany to Carlos Tevez to David Silva, who stabbed the ball in from close range.
Any residual hope Villa would have had was dispelled shortly after the break, when Andreas Wiemman was penalised for what was apparently handball. The Austrian felt rather hard done, probably because he didn't touch the ball with any part of his body, much less his hand, but Sergio Aguero showed no mercy in dispatching the spot kick past Brad Guzan. A not-quite-as-contentious-but-still-highly-unfortunate handball call on Barry Bannan then gave Carlos Tevez a chance to make it 3-0 from the spot. He did.
Tevez and Aguero both managed to get their brace as City spent the final 25 minutes of the game running absolutely rampant against a completely disheartened Villa defence. The win was deserved, but Paul Lambert's side will feel that 5-0 was nothing like a fair scoreline. Manchester City, meanwhile, go top of the table, at least for now.