Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure were quiet but with Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri popping up to score it bodes well for an impressive City team with Kevin De Bruyne on the way.
Manchester City’s results at Goodison Park tend to reflect their fortunes over the entire season, so it will come as a great relief to Manuel Pellegrini that their lesser lights stepped up here to to provide an impressive victory in what has been a traditionally bruising and often damaging fixture.
In late 2013 it was a 2-0 defeat which all but dashed their chances of winning the Premier League; in late 2014 it was a thrilling victory which moved the title closer to the Etihad Stadium; last season it was a 1-1 draw: not too good, not too bad.
But this 2-0 victory was as close to routine as has been possible in this corner of Merseyside in recent years and it was thanks to some unlikely heroes.
It was an early season clash which was always going to provide a big examination of City’s title credentials, and it must be said they passed with flying colours. Even with Sergio Aguero strangely quiet after going close to scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes, and Yaya Toure largely static until his late flash of brilliance, the visitors still had enough about them to win comfortably.
After a summer of criticism, the resurgent performances of Toure, Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany in the back-to-back 3-0 victories this season have been music to the ears of City fans.
But here it was the expendables who proved to be the difference, even if Silva and Kompany did provide a solid foundation for the win.
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