Man City 5 Aston Villa 0. All over at the Etihad and City move to the top of the table, for a few hours at least. Villa slip into the drop zone and have plenty to work on if they are to steer clear of trouble this season.
Bowery tripped by Kompany. Villa don't bother to lob the free-kick into the box. They do, however, win a corner off Kolarov. Albrighton takes towards the front post, Kolarov hammers clear.
Toure brushes off a challenge and moves across halfway. Great strength from the City midfielder. The Blues are happy to keep hold of the ball and invite Villa to come and get it.
Kolarov has barely been inside his own half since joining the action. He is down towards the corner flag again on this occasion, but puts too much on his cross and it sails behind.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
Into the final minute of the 90 and there has been one clear winner today. City doing their best to offer Villa a late opportunity, but Kompany gets to a stray pass just in front of Bowery.
Neither side can be bothered now. Toure and Maicon exchange one-yard passes inside their own half. No-one from Villa comes to close them down. All about running down the clock now.
Locals starting to drift away and they will be heading home happy. On the field, Tevez almost wraps up his hat-trick. Great low cross from Kolarov just misses the toes of Tevez and Dzeko.
Another great chance from Sinclair goes begging. Maicon powers into the box and sends the ball across the face of goal. Sinclair gets a toe to it, but diverts it over the top from four yards out. Easier to score from there!
Kolarov feeds a cross into the box. Another handball shout goes up, but this one is ignored. Three in one game is asking for a bit too much!
As close as Villa have come for some time as Holman lets fly from distance. He catches his strike cleanly and Hart is concerned enough to dive across his goal. The ball fizzes over the crossbar.
Results elsewhere mean Villa could be heading into the relegation zone tonight. Lambert has some task on his hands guding a young side through a testing time.
Final change of the afternoon sees Benteke make way for Bowery.
Villa can't get anything going. Barry is now back with us, as HArt hammers a free-kick down field. City still piling men forward in search of a sixth.
Bannan over a free-kick for Villa. Decent whipped delivery and Kompany takes no changes as he hacks clear. The ball saisl out for a throw.
Barry down holding his face. He looked to challenge Benteke for a high ball and got caught plum in the face by a stray arm. No malice, but a painful blow all the same. Physio team onto the field.
Should have been six. Villa all over the place as City spring clear. Sinclair has time and space in which to work but, after cutting back inside Stevens, fires over the top. Guzan looked like he got a touch, but goal kick awarded.
Toure sets his sights on the edge of the box, with Villa sitting off. Once again he looks to bend the ball into the top corner. He does hit the target this time, but it's an easy stop for Guzan.
Nasri drits across from right to left, leaving defenders in his wake. City try to do too much on the edge of the Villa box and lose the ball. They soon have it back.
Final change from City sees Silva, who has been brilliant today, make way for Sinclair.
Have to be honest, I didn't see this coming at half-time. City were decent first half but didn't look capable of getting five! Big blow to Lambert and his young side who already look like it's going to be a long season.
GOAL MAN CITY - TEVEZ. Another for Tevez and five now for City. Dzeko feeds NAsri on the left and he fires across the face of goal for Tevez to tap home at the back post.
Clichy replaced by Kolarov in a like-for-like change for City at left-back.
Keep-ball from City now, as they go from one side to the other, No surprise to find Maicon on the end of a move which heads right. He lashes over the top from a tight angle.
Dzeko's first involvement isn't the best, as he plays a stray pass behind Tevez and Silva. We'll put that down to the cold and the fact that he hasn't warmed up yet.
Benteke and Bannan take Villa forward, but the latter sees a shot shot. Albrighton takes over, and he is able to win a corner off Clichy. Delivery finds Benteke, but he can't find the corner with a curling effort.
Maicon dances his way past Lowton and into the box. He clips a cross towards the back post, but everyone in blue has gone near post. Could still be more goals in this for City.
Mancini still out discussing with Platt what to do next. He must be thinking about resting players with Real Madrid to come in the Champions League next week.
Last involvement for Aguero as he makes way for Dzdeko. Super sub is on.
GOAL MAN CITY - AGUERO. Definitely game over now. Hart saves a tame header at one end and sends City on their way up field. Aguero drives into the box and sees an effort beat Guzan at his near post via the aid of a defelection.
Villa's head must be starting to drop. They haven't played badly today but find themselves 3-0 down. Sign of a top side that City have been able to wrap up a convincing win.
GOAL MAN CITY - TEVEZ. City prepared to share the wealth, with Aguero letting Tevez step up to the spot this time. He puts the ball in the same corner as Aguero, with Guzan going the wrong way this time. Game over now surely.
Silva asking questions again as he collects a pass from Maicon and wins a corner off Lowton. Set-piece played short, before being fired into the box. Handball shout against Bannan, and the referee points to the spot...again.
Toure sitting deep now, controlling the halfway line. He hasn't bombed forward much today, but that is because he has so many forward-thinking players around him.
Double change by Villa. Shake of the head from Ireland on his way off, but he applauds the home support. He makes way for Albrighton while Holman is sent on in place of Weimann.
The ball squirms away from Nasri, but he wins a throw. City in no rush to do anything now, and why should they be? Lambert looking at his bench. Changes on the way perhaps?
City still pressing Villa so high when they get the ball, not allowing them any time in which to stroll out from the back. Hard work goes a long way and City are putting a shift in here today.
Vlaar powers forward across halfway and tries to feed a difficult ball into the path of Weimann. Clichy alive to the danger and is able to cut out the pass.
Bannan floats a free-kick high into the City box, but gets too much air on it and Hart is able to come and claims with ease.
Barry has a nibble at Weimann's heels and concedes a free-kick. Villa take it quickly, too quickly. Jon Moss wants a word with Weimann. No card flashed on this occasion.
Lambert stood unmoved on the touchline, hands in pockets. He takes them out to applaud a move by Villa which ends up with them firing wide. Having seen the penalty incident again it appears Weimann has been done for handball. He did wave his hand at the ball, but didn't appear to touch it. Harsh call.
Villa now have it all to do and it may be time to make a few changes and mix things up. They have been hard done to there, but they need to do something before the game slips away completely.
GOAL MAN CITY - AGUERO. No mistake from Aguero as he strides up to the spot and fires low into the bottom corner. Guzan went the right way but got nowhere near it.
All hell has broken loose. City have been awarded a penalty. Vlaar cleared from in front of Toure at the back post but the officials appear to have decided that he fould him. Odd decision and Villa are not happy.
Great saving challenge from Vlaar to deny Aguero. Brilliant pass slid in from Silva and Aguero was about to pull the trigger. As it is, it's a corner. Vlaar in the right place again for Villa as he diverts the ball over the top.
Tevez inches away from making it two. He picks the ball up deep, with Villa still allowing him far too much room, turns and hits. His drive has Guzan troubled, but flashes past the upright.
Tevez turns on halfway, but has little support. City goes across their midfield and wide to Nasri. He picks out Toure, but there is no room for a shot. Maicon tries his luck from the edge of the box, but Lowton gets in front of his effort.
Maicon on the charge once more, but Bannan does really well to stick with him and put in a sliding challenge. Villa aware that if they dig deep they could still get something out of this game.
Nasri teases Stevens, before stabbing over an attempted left-footed cross. Not the best and easily cleared at the near post. City will need to do better than that.
Handball shouts against Ireland ignored. Villa can't find a way through the heart of City's back four. The Blues surge forward down their right, with Maicon leading the way.
Weimann having drop so deep inside his own half looking for the ball. Villa need to make the most of him further up the field if they are going to find a route back into this.
City get the second half underway.
City now with us as well and we are ready for the off once more. Will we get more goals? We are about to find out.
Villa back out for the second half, City to follow shortly. Quick betting update, as in-play markets are open with Skybet.com. City now 1/16 to take the points, with Villa 40/1 and the draw 10/1.
How do you see the second half going? Can City build on their lead or will Villa hit back and level? Get your thoughts into Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.
Man City 1 Aston Villa 0. Silva's goal shortly before the interval is the difference at the break. City have dominated possession and will feel they deserve to be in front. Villa has posed problems on the counter and aren't out of this yet.
Silva goes close to adding a second. City work their way into the box, with Silva breaking down the channel and into space. He drills low, but Guzan is equal to the effort. The ball goes behind for a corner, which Nasri sends onto the head of Nastasic, who nods over the top.
One minute of stoppage time to be played.
Great delivery from Clichy on the run. The ball arrows towards Aguero, but Clark gets there first. City slow things down on halfway. They will be delighted to have finally broken through.
How will Villa respond to falling behind? They got so close to half-time and could have re-grouped and come again in the second half. They will now need to push forward more often, rather than rely on counter attacks.
GOAL MAN CITY - SILVA. Villa are unable to deal with Nasri's corner and the ball pinballs around the box. It eventually drops the way of Silva, who can't miss from five yards out. Deadlock broken at the Etihad.
Tevez springs clear from deep, but Clichy can't cross. Villa press forward through Weimann, but he is closed down by two blue shirts. City try again and Tevez fires inches past the post. Guzan got a touch to a low drive, it's a corner.
Not happening for City in the final third. Nasri trying to force the issue, playing a pass without really looking. The ball sails past Silva's boot and out for a Villa throw. Villa doing a great job of frustrating the hosts.
Villa spring forward, with Benteke pulling to the back post. He nods the ball down to Ireland, who takes a wild swing at fresh air. City now look to counter, but Villa get men back quickly.
Tevez thinks he is in on goal as he ghosts in behind. Flag goes up and Guzan keeps his effort out anyway. Tevez takes a glance at the linesman, but he was off.
Bannan whips in the delivery, but the flag goes up straightaway. Benteke was offside. Shouldn't have been. City are to clear without pressure.
Clark walks the ball out, before firing long. Benteke can't win it in the air, but Villa remain in possession. Toure clatters into Ireland. Promising free-kick to Villa 35 yards from goal.
City seeing so much of the ball inside the Villa half, but can't create a golden opportunity. This time Toure dinks the ball into the box, but Lowton can nod clear. Villa well organised at the back.
Decent delivery from Nasri towards the back post. Toure climbs above Vlaar, but directs his header well off target. Villa see another attack break down on halfway.
Silva finds Clichy in space. He drills the ball low into the box and Vlaar has to slice behind at his near post. Nasri over another corner for City.
Toure surges forward and plays a nice pass into the path of Silva. He looks to cut the ball back towards the penalty spot, but can't pick out a team-mate. Maicon has another go. The ball ricochets to Guzan. City supporters claim a back pass, but get nothing.
Villa trying to play their way out from the back, but City are pressing so high up the field. The visitors are forced to go long, with Vlaar aiming at Agbonlahor. Even with his pace he can't keep the ball in play.
Silva wants the ball on his left foot when picked out 30 yards from goal. He goes wide to Nasri, but he is blocked off by Lowton. City try again with Tevez, but he is forced backwards by two defenders.
Maicon well forward again, and crossing again. His delivery is glance on by Vlaar to Nasri. He catches a half-volley with the inside of his boot, but fires straight at Guzan. He controlled the effort well, but needed to place it better.
Clichy's cross from the City left is only cleared to the edge of the box. No sight of goal for Silva, but Toure is found 25 yards out. Again he looks to bend the ball towards the top corner, but only finds the top tier of the stand behind Guzan's goal.
Tevez finding space 25 yards from goal, with Villa defending the edge of their area. On this occasion, the Argetine pulls the trigger, but drags his effort badly and it trickles well wide.#
Maicon drifts across the box, before trying a one-two with Tevez. It doesn't come off, but the ball is worked to Toure. He tries to curl a shot goalwards, but sees his effort blocked.
Foul by Aguero on Lowton. He was too eager to try and win the ball back on the edge of the Villa penalty area. Groans from the away support as another potential counter attack breaks down.
Agbonlahor able to control and shoot when the ball drops his way just inside the City box. The hosts have enough bodies back and Kompany is able to block.
Linesman gives a decision to City, but refereee gives it the other way. Maicon is said to have pushed Agbonlahor before he bundled the ball out. Didn't appear to be much in it.
Clichy is back with us, as Maicon hangs over another cross. Not enough on this one and it is easily cleared by Clark. Villa standing firm.
Clichy hops from the field. Nasri's inswinging corner picks out the head of Nastasic, who has been left all alone. He diverts a poor header over the top. Another decent half-chance goes begging.
Straight down the other end and City work an opening for Clichy. He drills low from a tight angle and Guzan can't prevent a corner after getting down low to block the shot. Clichy has stayed down and will require treatment.
Great save from Hart to keep the scores level. Agbonlahor picks out Stevens, who crosses first time. Benteke rises well in the middle and his powerful header has to be touched around the post by Hart at full stretch. The City keeper then gets another strong hand to the resulting corner.
Silva floats a pass towards Aguero, but Vlaar does well to get a head to the ball. Villa can now counter. They end up going backwards, allowing City to re-group. Wasted opportunity.
Safe hands from Guzan as he comes through the crowd to pluck Silva's set-piece out of the air. Maicon then bundled over by Agbonlahor as he strides foward. City go short from the free-kick.
Silva takes aim from the edge of the box. His shot takes a wicked deflection and drops inches wide. Silva will get the new ball he has been calling for as he lines up the corner.
Villa causing problems for the first time. Lowton whips over a dangerous cross from the right. Kompany has to deal with it with Benteke behind him and prods at his own goal. Hart in the right place to parry clear. City off the hook.
Ten men behind the ball for Villa. City looking to slice their way through, but Nasri is stopped in his tracks. Maicon then finds himself in the Villa box once more, but Guzman is off his line quickly to gather.
Terrible pass from Tevez curls out of play. Silva suggests we may require a new ball, but the match officials ignore him and play continues.
Great crss-field ball from Toure to Nasri. Silva rather surprisingly then takes his eye off the ball. Villa counter, with Ireland looking for a gap. He instead finds Benteke, who has a fierce drive from the edge of the area blocked at source by Kompany.
Maicon invited to bomb forward again from full-back. He flashes a volley cross the face of goal from a tight angle. It only needed a touch, but no blue shirt can get to it.
Anywhere will do for Villa at the moment as they continue to lump the ball forward towards no-one. City come again, with Nasri and Aguero probing. Too much, if anything, as the move breaks down.
Bannan fizzes a pass into Ireland, but his first touch lets him down. City spring forward. Nasri finds Aguero with his back to goal inside the box, but he is unable to spin and is soon crowded out.
Plenty of movement from Nasri and Silva, who have the freedom to drift around the field. City can't pick the Villa lock, though, and Aguero is seen out by Stevens.
Loose pass from Barry in the middle of the park that he gets away with. Villa pegged back inside their own half at the moment. Aguero closed down on the edge of the box as he shaped to shoot.
So close to an opener. Nasri whips over the corner. Aguero gets something to it as he trips inside the box, but Tevez can only glance the loose ball onto the top of the net from six yards out.
Nice passing football from City in the middle of the park, but they don't really get anywhere. Villa prepared to get men behind the ball and put up a green wall. Aguero is, however, able to force another corner.
Maicon isn't hanging around today, as he charges down the right flank again. No way through this time. He is soon back on the ball and floats a cross to the back post which has to be put behind. Corner to City. Set-piece is played short and wasted.
Silva jumps over a challenge from Ireland, but puts too much on a pass out towards Clichy. Villa forced to hack clear, unable to get the ball on the deck as yet.
Wild from Maicon. He is picked out in space and is able to drive into the box. He then takes a swing at the ball and skews a shot badly off target.
Patient approach from the hosts, prepared to knock the ball across the back before looking forward. Maicon unable to find Tevez down the City right.
Silva with a direct run at Lowton. Solid enough from the Villa man as he prevents a dangerous cross being fed across the face of goal. City quickly into their stride passing-wise.
Villa get us up and running.
Players onto the pitch. A few latecomers yet to take to their seats. Pre-match formalities underway at the Etihad. Round of applause from the home support for Stephen Ireland, nice to see.
Players are in the tunnel and we are almost ready for the off. We will have to leave the feedback there for now but there will be further opportunities to have your say at half-time and at the final whistle.
Players head off as the sprinklers come on. Bannan takes the opportunity to soak a couple of team-mates. Just over 10 minutes until kick-off at the Etihad.
Brian Cook is another Villa fan in optimistic mood. He says: "I would hope for a point which I suppose is possible if we play like we did for the first half last week. However, I think City will want revenge for the Cup defeat and points to keep in touch with the top sides. As long as Villa survive this season I can see us developing into a useful team."
Some very wayward shooting going on at the City end. Aguero, Tevez, Nasri and Dzeko trying to get their radars sorted prior to kick-off. Villa, meanwhile, have been split into groups and are playing keep-ball. Will they get the chance to practice that skill during the game?
City fan Jason Manford helping to keep the crowds amused outside the stadium. Inside the ground, all of the players are being put through their paces. Organised chaos is probably the best way to describe pre-match warm-ups!
Darren Marshall sees Villa getting something this afternoon. He says: "Fancy Villa to get a point today....looked a different team last week,let's hope we keep that going."
Ian Ashman is keeping up to date with events from Spain - some people have all the luck! He says: "City will take no prisoners at the Etihad today- No slip ups like they did in the Mickey Mouse cup. 3-0 to my beloved blues."
For the record, as I know people like to be kept in the loop when it comes to these sort of things, today's referee is Jon Moss.
Keep your thoughts coming in to Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB as we countdown to kick-off at the Etihad.
Paul Field is another Villa fan to have been in touch. He says: "I'm hopeing for another uplifting performance from the young Villians today. If we can survive this season we will be a force next season. My heart says Villa 1-0 today, C'MON THE VILLA."
Patrick Pollard is first to give his take on today's game. He says: "Though I think our kids did very well against United last week, I think that getting a result at City would be very optimistic thinking! However if Villa can perform as they did in the first half against United then we have a chance of a draw maybe as City have looked a bit dodgy at the back - and we did beat a fairly strong City side in the cup earlier in the season!"
Confirmation then that Balotelli is missing from the City squad once again. Dzeko has to make do with a place on the bench. Villa once again putting faith in their youngsters.
Aston Villa team: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Westwood, Bannan, Ireland, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, El Ahmadi, Bowery, Baker.
Man City team: Hart, Kompany, Clichy, Nastasic, Maicon, Y Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kolarov, Sinclair, Garcia, Dzeko.
Joe Hart has been out on the field for some time, others now starting to join him. Hart has come in for a bit of criticism this week following his showing for England in Sweden - doesn't seem the type to let that get to him and expect him to be as reliable as ever today.
Perfect conditions for football in Manchester today - bright and sunny but with a chill in the air. Those out on the field will have to put in a shift to stay warm. For those of us on the sidelines, typing frantically should help to prevent fingers from freezing up.
Rumour spreading around the press box that Mario Balotelli wasn't on the City team bus when it arrived today. Yet another twist in the Balotelli saga, or crossed wires? We'll find out when the team sheets arrive.
You can also bet in-play throughout the game at Skybet.com. City start as strong favourites at 1/5, with Villa 12/1 and the draw 11/2. You can get 5/2 on Aguero and Dzeko both finding the target - as they did last weekend against Spurs.
Can City get the job done on home soil or will Villa spring a surprise on the road? Who will be the players to keep an eye on? Let me know your thoughts.
Feel free to offer your opinion on today's game by contacting me direct at Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.
Villa did, however, give United a scare last weekend and will be hoping to go one better this afternoon against a City side that is yet to hit top gear.
Villa, meanwhile, are anxiously looking over their shoulder, with there a chance that they could end the weekend inside the relegation zone.
With Manchester United not in action until the evening kick-off at Norwich, City will go to the top - for a few hours at least - with a win here today.
City will put the only unbeaten record in the top four divisions of English football on the line today, and will be setting their sights on top spot.
Welcome to the Etihad Stadium for our coverage of today's Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Aston Villa.