Three things we learnt as Manchester City swept aside Hull
Manchester City climbed up to second place in the Premier League table after a routine three-goal victory against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium on Boxing Day.
Pep Guardiola’s team were frustrated by their struggling hosts for over two-thirds of the contest, although it felt like only a matter of time before they broke the deadlock, before Yaya Toure opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the seventy-second minute.
The big Ivorian midfielder has forced his way back into the new-look Manchester City side after initially being frozen out by Guardiola at the start of the season and his calmly taken goal capped off an impressive all-round display.
Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to add a second goal from close range before Raheem Sterling’s low cross was turned into his own net by Curtis Davies in the closing moments of the game to round off the scoring.
In truth, Manchester City were far from their best but a third consecutive victory puts Guardiola’s team back into the fray at the top of the table.
Hull City, meanwhile, have won just one of their last sixteen Premier League fixtures and have the unenviable claim of sitting bottom of the table at Christmas – just three out of the last twenty-four teams to be in their position in previous seasons have been able to secure safety come the end of the campaign.
Here are three things that we learnt…
No Aguero, no problem
It is somewhat ironic that Manchester City have been able to secure three consecutive victories despite the absence of their talismanic goal-scorer Sergio Aguero.
The Argentinean striker is currently serving a four-match ban after being sent off in the defeat to Chelsea earlier in the month for a dangerous challenge on David Luiz and there were fears that City would struggle without him leading their forward line.
However, in reality Aguero’s absence has hardly been noticed and Pep Guardiola’s side have now won all three of their games without their goal-scoring machine, finding the net five times and keeping two clean sheets during this period.
This perhaps demonstrates the frightening depth of attacking talent that Guardiola has at his disposal.
At the KCOM Stadium Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva were creative influences in the final third, Raheem Sterling looked back to his pacey, direct best after recovering from injury, and Yaya Toure put in a man of the match display as he conducted proceedings from a central midfield role.
Throw in the substitute appearance of Kelechi Iheanacho, who is developing a growing reputation for finding the back of the net despite limited game time, and it is easy to see how City were easily able to overcome their hosts.
Guardiola’s men face a trip to Anfield at the start of the new year and will be looking to secure a fourth consecutive victory without Aguero leading the attack.
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