The enfant terrible of the Serie and now the Premiership scored from two penalties and after Brad Friedel could not handle a weak David Silva shot was left with the simple task of stroking the ball into an empty net. Not exactly scintillating stuff but any hat trick looks good on the resume.
Joleon Lescott also contributed to Villa’s destruction as his header was cleared inside the line by Barry Bannan.
We all know by now that there is something in the air at City which induces homesickness. It’s Carlos Tevez and now Balotelli. So Mancini brought on one for the other for this match – Tevez did not start. At least the Argentinian seems to have accepted some sort of status quo but Balotelli will be most likely be leaving at the end of the season.
City now lie in second position behind Man Utd – level on points but behind on goal differential and ahead of Arsenal. But both clubs have two games in hand. For Villa, the slide continues and it is happening at both ends. The attack is not scoring and the defense is leaking far too many goals. At -14 they along with Wigan have the worst goal differential.
On Jan 5th the Gunners take on City at the Emirates in what will be one of the most anticipated matches. There is now an edginess to these meetings.