City slickers ease past sorry Stoke


MANCHESTER CITY maintained their 100 per cent home record in the Premier League this season with a comfortable victory over Stoke that ensured they lead the top flight at Christmas for the first time since 1929.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis omitted his most creative players, Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington, as he attempted to nullify a City side who brought up a half century of goals since the start of the campaign during Sunday’s win over Arsenal.

The plan succeeded up until the 29th minute when Sergio Aguero poached the opener from virtually the goalline and then Adam Johnson, from considerably further out, rifled home the second nine minutes before the interval.

City eased off after the break but breached the Stoke defence again in the 54th minute when Aguero converted Samir Nasri’s cross to register his 15th goal of an increasingly impressive debut campaign in England.

The only blow for City came when right-back Micah Richards was forced off just before the hour mark with a sore hamstring.