Manchester City were looking to continue their unbeaten start of the season and extend their lead at the top of the league, and they managed to do both as they swept side a helpless Stoke side, winning 7-2.
A brace from Gabriel Jesus, and goals from Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva secured the win for the hosts, while Stoke responded through Mame Biram Diouf and an own goal from Kyle Walker.
Pep Guardiola’s side were dominant from the off, seeing much more of the ball, and Sterling looked dangerous in the opening minutes, as he linked up well with Leroy Sane and forced Jack Butland into an early save.
Sane then had an excellent chance to give his side the lead inside seven minutes. Kevin De Bruyne floated a ball over to him inside the box, but the German winger somehow blasted over from close range.
Watch: David Silva’s goal
That miss was just a sign of things to come as it was attack after attack for the home side.
Fernandinho tested Butland with a long range effort before Gabriel Jesus gave the Citizen’s a deserved 1-0 lead after 17 minutes.
De Bruyne found Kyle Walker, who had made a gut-busting run down the right flank, inside the box, and the England right-back cut the ball back for Jesus, who stroked home into an empty net, despite pressure from Mame Biram Diouf.
Just two minutes later the home side doubled their lead in superb fashion. City were cutting through the Stoke defence with ease, and De Bruyne was pulling the strings on his 100th appearances for the Manchester club.
The Belgian threaded the ball through for Sane, who squared the ball to Sterling and the English winner tapped in and doubled his side’s lead, while getting his sixth goal in as many Premier League appearances.
Stoke had barely seen a touch of the ball since kick-off, when David Silva made it three inside half an hour. Sane cut across for Sterling on the left side of the box, and Sterling cut back for Silva first time, who took a touch before firing past Butland into the corner. Three goals up inside half an hour and it looked as if it would get worse before it would get better for Mark Hughes’ side.
Stoke finally had their first shot after 34 minutes. Kurt Zouma intercepted a pass from Fernandinho, before driving forward with purpose. He got to around 20 yards out before having a go, but his effort didn’t trouble Ederson and went wide of the City goal.
Sterling and Silva then linked up well, before the Spaniard released a shot from a tight angle, but Butland read it and stuck out a leg to stop the danger.
Rather surprisingly, Stoke managed to reduce the deficit with just their second chance of the match a couple of minutes before the break. Diouf powered down the right flank past Fernandinho, before playing a nice one-two with Jese Rodriguez inside the box, and releasing a shot which was deflected over the head of a helpless Ederson.
With the visitors finding a way back into the game, City were keen to stop any talk of a comeback before the half-time whistle. De Bruyne received the ball from Sane at the edge of the box, before releasing the shot, and Butland had to be at full stretch to turn the ball round for a corner and keep the scores at 3-1 at the end of the half.
However, straight after the break, Stoke made it clear that it wouldn’t be easy for the home side. A brilliant cross by debutant Thomas Edwards was met by Diouf, whose effort was heading wide, before it deflected off the thigh of Walker and into the corner of the net, making it 3-2.
With yet another hint of a possible comeback, City once again stepped up almost instantly to restore their two-goal cushion.
De Bruyne broke down the right hand side before playing a sublime, inch-perfect ball for Jesus in the middle of the box, and the Brazilian made no mistake to score his second of the game and eighth league goal of the season.
Four soon became five just 5 minutes later. Delph played the ball to Fernandinho around 25 yards out, and no one closed the Brazilian midfielder down, so he promptly smashed the ball into the top corner to make it 5-2 after 60 minutes.
Pep Guardiola’s side were once again in their stride, and like in the first half they looked unstoppable, and they had their sixth just two minutes later.
De Bruyne played another perfectly weighted ball to find Sane on the left side of the area, and the German finished under Butland first-time to increase his side’s lead to four goals.
Substitute Bernardo Silva then made it seven heaven after a quiet period in the match. Sterling had a cross blocked but found the Portuguese midfielder with his second effort, and SIlva stabbed past Butland to make it 7-2 after 79 minutes.
The rest of the game was a formality as both sides accepted their fate and City secured the emphatic win.
Mark Hughes’ side put up a fight at the start of the second half but the Citizens stepped up their game when they needed to with a fantastic display and seven goals all of a high quality.