Carlos Tevez scored twice as Manchester City overpowered Liverpool 3-0 at Eastlands on Monday. James Milner, on his City debut, set up his former Aston Villa teammate Gareth Barry to side-foot in the first goal in the 13th minute. And the Argentina striker got on the end of Micah Richards's header seven minutes into the second half. Liverpool - without Javier Mascherano amid reports the Argentina international was on his way to Barcelona - saw captain Steven Gerrard hit the post with a powerful shot. And in the ensuing scramble City goalkeeper Joe Hart made a fine double save to deny both David Ngog and Fernando Torres. Tevez made the game safe from the penalty spot after Adam Johnson was brought down by Martin Skrtel. "I was just glad to get out there and play," Milner said in reference to his protracted move from Villa. "It's always tough against Liverpool - but we got three goals and a clean sheet." He added: "The club is moving forward. There is great competition which is healthy for any team so hopefully we can build on this." But City manager Roberto Mancini said it was too soon to call his expensively-assembled side title contenders. "I don't know this," the Italian said. "I think it's important to improve game after game, we need to gel. We need the time to become a strong squad." City's win came as their billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour visited the ground for the first time since buying the club two years ago and he was treated to a stunning performance from his side.
It would have been much worse for Liverpool had City, with Adam Johnson in sensational form, taken half the chances they created. City fans hoping for a glimpse of £25-million (Dh105m) striker Mario Balotelli were left disappointed as he looked on from the sidelines as he recovered from a knee-cartilage injury that forced him to miss training on Sunday. Johnson started the move that led to City's opener with a delightful pass to Milner. He squared to an unmarked Barry to score from 10 yards, the England midfielder's third Premier League goal for City. Liverpool were subdued and were no better after the break and two goals in the space of 16 minutes from Tevez sealed the worst night of Hodgson's spell in charge so far. Liverpool's defence was again all at sea as Tevez scrambled the ball over the line from close range after a powerful header by Richards.
The visitors were clearly shell-shocked. Gerrard tried to rally his side but even the Liverpool captain could not ride to the rescue on this occasion. City's battling qualities were highlighted in the 58th minute when, after Gerrard had been denied by the woodwork, Ngog had a shot saved by Hart before Torres had a follow up effort charged down. Liverpool's wretched night was complete when Skrtel brought down man-of-the-match Johnson in the box and Tevez beat Pepe Reina from the spot. * AFP