Manchester City got a second win in two games in the Premier League, and once again it wasn't easy as the Citizens needed two late goals to earn a 4-1 result to beat Stoke City, thanks to goals from Sergio Agüero (2) and Nolito (2), with Bojan scoring for Stoke. Pep Guardiola's side dominated the ball for much of the game, yet struggled to create chances, but took the few opportunities to find the back of the net and won a second straight league match.
From the very start, Stoke pressured City's possession, trying to steal the ball and find Arnautovic on the left wing, and that got the hosts a few chances in the first period. Other than that, however, it was complete control from Man City, who kept possession and used great wing play from Sterling to create chances. The right side was also dangerous, with De Bruyne, Navas and Zabaleta combining well on that flank.
David Silva and Fernandinho were tremendous to keep possession, and City dominated most of the action. That all led to Sergio Agüero scoring twice, first on a penalty and later with a great header, to give City a much deserved lead. There was a little referee controversy with Mike Dean giving City a soft penalty and denying Stoke a penalty, but Stoke didn't do much to earn a goal.
At halftime, domination, goals, and great football. Pep.
After giving City a soft penalty, Mike Dean did the same for Stoke, somehow seeing a foul by Sterling on Ryan Shawcross, which did not happen AT ALL. But the penalty was given, and Bojan did not waste it to bring the Potters back in the game.
The goal unnerved City, who had trouble to keep possession and easily lost it in many occasions, looking disorganized at the back and creating very few chances. Guardiola brought in Nolito to have a bigger offensive threat on the pitch, but it didn't work. The game was ugly with very little creativity and plenty of fouls, and nothing happened for quite a few minutes.
Then Kelechi Iheanacho entered the game and made a fantastic solo play, combining with David Silva, dribbling past the keeper and finding Nolito for the game-winning goal. Nolito scored again after Raheem Sterling gave him a tap-in, and City iced the match.
In the end, a tough victory turned into blowout for the Citizens, and a key win in a historically difficult stadium for the Sky Blues. There were negatives, but Guardiola certainly saw good things as well. And what matters right now is winning.
Stoke: Given | Bardsley, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters | Whelan, Allen | Bojan, Imbula (Walters), Arnautovic (Ramadan) | Diouf
Goals: Bojan (49')
Man City: Caballero | Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov | Fernandinho | Navas (Nolito), De Bruyne (Delph), Silva, Sterling | Agüero (Iheanacho)
Goals: Agüero (27', 36'), Nolito (86')