Sergio Aguero scored twice in his Manchester City debut as the Blues began their bid for a first English soccer league title in 44 years with a 4-0 rout of Swansea.
Argentine forward Aguero scored nine minutes after coming on as a 59th-minute substitute and added a long-range strike in injury time last night at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. Edin Dzeko and David Silva also scored second-half goals.
City, which won the English league championship in 1937 and 1968, joined crosstown rival Manchester United, Bolton and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the only teams to have won their opening match of the 38-game season.
“It was a perfect start,” City manager Roberto Mancini told his club’s website. “What is also important is that the strikers got amongst the goals. What Sergio Aguero achieved did not surprise me.”
City finished third in the standings last season, its best performance since the Premier League’s inception in 1992. Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has spent more than $1 billion on the club since buying it in September 2008. The investment yielded the F.A. Cup in May, City’s first trophy in 35 years.
Swansea, the first Welsh team to play in the Premier League, last featured in England’s top division in 1983. Norwich was the only one of the three newly promoted teams to avoid an opening-round defeat, with Queens Park Rangers also losing 4-0 to Bolton three days ago.
‘A Little Harsh’
“The result was a little harsh,” said Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers. “We could have defended better because you are going to get punished at this level.”
The Swans kept City scoreless until the 57th minute, when Dzeko pounced from close range after Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm could only parry Adam Johnson’s shot.
Aguero, who joined from Atletico Madrid last month on a five-year contract for a fee U.K. media put at a club-record 38 million pounds ($62.3 million), tapped in Micah Richards’s cross at the far post in the 68th minute.
Aguero set up the next goal three minutes later, hooking the ball back acrobatically for Silva to score just as it appeared to be going out of play. Aguero then capped his debut by beating Vorm with a shot from 25 yards (22 meters).
“He can get better,” Mancini said of Aguero. “I’m sure of that. He’s not yet 100 percent fit. He only has 10 days training with us and he will get better.”