City started their Champions League campaign off in the best possible fashion by beating Viktoria Plzen 3-0 in the opening Group D fixture.
Three goals in a blistering ten-minute spell just after half-time blew away the Czech champions with Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all on target during an impressive European City debut for boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Perhaps ‘The Engineer’ really does have the magic touch in this competition!
The Champions League proved something of a thorn in the side of Roberto Mancini who twice saw his team fail to progress from difficult groups in the past two years.
Malaga and Villarreal both punched well above their weight in the same competition under Pellegrini's tutelage so this was an eagerly-awaited first foray for City under the Chilean.
Would the football be more adventurous, more cautious or a mixture of both? Time would tell
...Plzen 0 City 3...
With skipper Vincent Kompany fit again, the back four had a more familiar look to it and there were a total of five changes from the team that chiselled out a point at Stoke at the weekend.
Playing in the new Nike cup kit of white shirts with a light and dark blue stripe, City enjoyed the lion’s share of possession during the opening period and should have gone in a couple of goals to the good.
Yaya Toure sent a header over from a few yards out but Dzeko was guilty of a worse miss on 23 minutes when his point-blank header was saved by the keeper with the goal gaping before him.
Then Aguero saw an effort clip the post and while Plzen threatened occasionally, their build-ups were usually guilty of an over-hit final pass – the net result was a goalless first period.
City needed a spark of inspiration to crank up proceedings in a match where three points were surely the minimum requirement – and within 15 minutes of the re-start they had blown Plzen away with three scintillating goals.
On 48 minutes Aguero wrestled free of his marker and accelerated towards the box before laying the ball to Dzeko who calmly passed the ball past Kozacik for the opening goal.
The players looked as though a weight had been lifted and five minutes later, Yaya Toure doubled the lead with an early contender for goal of the season as he received a pass in the middle of the Plzen half, looked up and then curled a sumptuous shot into the top right-hand corner.
Yaya, it seems, only scores ‘worldys’ these days!
Aguero, not to be left out made it 3-0 five minutes later with a smart turn in the box and classy finish to end the match as a contest and guarantee the Blues started this year’s battle of Europe’s elite in the best possible manner.
It could have been more, too, had Dzeko taken a couple of half-chances and Aguero not blasted sub Alvaro Negredo’s sweet pass over on 90 minutes, but nobody was complaining. City are off and running will go into Sunday’s Manchester derby in great heart.