• Manchester City make it two wins from two
  • Jovetic scores first Premier League brace
  • Balotelli watches his new side lose

Manchester City delivered an early statement of intent as the Premier League champions comfortably overcame last season's runners-up Liverpool at Etihad Stadium.

Stevan Jovetic scored either side of half-time to punish Liverpool, who dominated much of the first half without creating the opportunities to go with their excellent work-rate and approach work.

And as Liverpool's new £16m signing Mario Balotelli watched from the directors' box against his former club, any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out when Sergio Aguero slid home the third 23 seconds after coming on as substitute for the injured Edin Dzeko.

Pablo Zabaleta's own goal at least got Liverpool on the scoresheet but the last 20 minutes were played out as a formality, such was City's control.

Jovetic's first season at City was hampered by injuries but he has form for tormenting Liverpool after scoring twice against them in Fiorentina's Champions League win in 2009 and he showed his quality again here.

Stevan Jovetic

Stevan Jovetic only scored three Premier League goals last season, but netted twice in this game

Liverpool are in a period of transition with nine new signings this summer following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

And, while they were the better side for the first 40 minutes, they never recovered from an error by debutant Alberto Moreno that allowed City to take the lead just before half-time.

The pleasure for Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will not just come from the victory, but also from the fact that it was achieved without ever truly hitting the heights against the team who pushed them to the final day of last season's title race.

Balotelli risk worth taking - Rodgers

For City, without needing to be at their best, this was very much business as usual for the reigning champions.

Liverpool will obviously miss a player of Suarez's world-class calibre but Rodgers must also be given time to bed in his reshaped squad, and these early days of the season will represent a work in progress.

Rodgers will also be hoping the maverick Balotelli will provide the sort of X-factor Suarez provided without the accompanying unsavoury headlines once he gets down to business after completing his move from AC Milan.

Liverpool's greater strength in midfield numbers and intense pressing posed problems for City until the deadlock was broken after 41 minutes in a manner the visitors' manager would have found hugely unsatisfactory.

Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta scored a late own goal under pressure from Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert

Dejan Lovren attempted to find Moreno with a header in the area but the £12m signing from Sevilla hesitated, allowing Jovetic to pounce and beat Simon Mignolet.

If Jovetic's first goal owed something to a Liverpool lapse, his second, 10 minutes after the restart, was a superb team goal started and finished by the talented Montenegrin.

Jovetic's brilliant flick set Samir Nasri free and he continued his run into the area to end a prolonged period of City passing with another emphatic finish.

'Very important' win pleases Pellegrini

City wrapped things up in remarkable fashion with 21 minutes left. Aguero made his entrance to replace Dzeko and, within seconds, he was running on to Jesus Navas's perfect pass to beat Mignolet from a tight angle.

Liverpool pulled a goal back when Zabaleta turned into his own net after a far-post scramble with Rickie Lambert, but there was no consolation on offer here, only the concern of defender Glen Johnson limping off with what looked like a groin injury.

Rodgers will hope Balotelli can help bridge the gap between the sides over the course of a season but this was an impressively understated win from City.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "We worked the whole game and played a very good team. We worked without the ball for 95 minutes and with the ball we made enough danger to score three goals.

"When you play against a strong team you have to concentrate and our concentration and intensity was good. Liverpool are an important team and one that will be fighting for the title. It's so important to get six points from our first two games as it was a very difficult start for us.

"Stevan Jovetic was very unlucky last season and he had so many injuries. He has been patient and worked very hard to come again. We bought him because he is a very good player, he had a good pre-season and I'm very happy for him - he deserves it.

"We need four strikers. At this moment Stevan is doing very well but you cannot forget Alvaro Negredo is injured. Edin Dzeko and Jovetic and Aguero are working well. It is important that they continue playing the way they did."

Mario Balotelli

New £16m Liverpool signing Mario Balotelli watched the game next to other Reds squad members

Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson was among the crowd at Etihad Stadium

David Silva

Manchester City won more home Premier League games than any other side last season

Manchester City

Manchester City have only conceded one goal from their two Premier League matches this season

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester City

  • 01 Hart
  • 05 Zabaleta
  • 26 Demichelis
  • 22 Clichy
  • 04 Kompany
  • 21 Silva (Jesús Navas - 65' )
  • 08 Nasri
  • 42 Y Touré Booked
  • 06 Fernando
  • 10 Dzeko (Agüero - 68' )
  • 35 Jovetic (Fernandinho - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Sagna
  • 07 Milner
  • 11 Kolarov
  • 13 Caballero
  • 15 Jesús Navas
  • 16 Agüero
  • 25 Fernandinho

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 18 Moreno
  • 02 Johnson
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 06 Lovren
  • 14 Henderson
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 24 Allen (Can - 75' Booked )
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 10 Coutinho (Markovic - 60' )
  • 31 Sterling (Lambert - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 04 K Touré
  • 09 Lambert
  • 17 Sakho
  • 19 Manquillo
  • 23 Can
  • 50 Markovic
Ref: Michael Oliver
Att: 45,471

Match Stats

Shots

9 11

On target

4 3

Corners

6 7

Fouls

13 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester City 3, Liverpool 1.

90:00 +5:21 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Liverpool 1.

90:00 +4:47

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Alberto Moreno.

90:00 +4:06

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Fernandinho.

90:00 +3:52

Attempt blocked. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

90:00 +0:22

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

89:47

Delay in match Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) because of an injury.

88:17

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

86:57

Delay in match Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) because of an injury.

86:26

Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).

86:26

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:32

Glen Johnson went off injured after Liverpool had used all subs.

85:24

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

84:41

Delay in match Glen Johnson (Liverpool) because of an injury.

82:18 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City. Manchester City 3, Liverpool 1.

82:17

Attempt saved. Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge with a cross.

80:56

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

79:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Fernandinho replaces Stevan Jovetic.

78:52

Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a corner.

78:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Rickie Lambert replaces Raheem Sterling.

77:54

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.

75:38 Booking

Booking Emre Can (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

75:34

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

75:34

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

74:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Emre Can replaces Joe Allen.

71:12

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

71:12

Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

68:23 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 3, Liverpool 0. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a through ball.

68:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Sergio Agüero replaces Edin Dzeko because of an injury.

67:51

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

66:27

Delay in match Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) because of an injury.

65:24

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alberto Moreno with a cross.

64:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Jesús Navas replaces David Silva.

64:06

Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

62:54

Offside, Manchester City. Vincent Kompany tries a through ball, but Edin Dzeko is caught offside.

61:25

Samir Nasri (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:25

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Liverpool).

61:01

Attempt blocked. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lazar Markovic.

60:08

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Fernando.

59:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Lazar Markovic replaces Philippe Coutinho.

58:46

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

58:01

Foul by Edin Dzeko (Manchester City).

58:01

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54:21 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 2, Liverpool 0. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

52:37

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Pablo Zabaleta.

51:34

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

51:34

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:57

Attempt missed. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Samir Nasri with a cross following a corner.

49:38

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

48:45

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Alberto Moreno.

48:09

Offside, Liverpool. Glen Johnson tries a through ball, but Daniel Sturridge is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester City 1, Liverpool 0.

45:00 +1:14 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester City 1, Liverpool 0.

45:00 +0:20

Foul by Samir Nasri (Manchester City).

45:00 +0:20

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

44:44

Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

44:44

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

43:19

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:19

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

40:19 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 1, Liverpool 0. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top right corner.

39:10

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Steven Gerrard.

36:15

Yaya Touré (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:15

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

32:16

Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

30:47

Foul by Edin Dzeko (Manchester City).

30:47

Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:24

Foul by Gaël Clichy (Manchester City).

29:24

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

28:25 Booking

Booking Yaya Touré (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

28:08

Foul by Yaya Touré (Manchester City).

28:08

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:22

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

23:13

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

23:13

Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:49

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Philippe Coutinho.

20:45

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

20:45

Alberto Moreno (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

16:48

Attempt blocked. Joe Allen (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

15:52

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Joe Hart.

15:26

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Fernando.

15:22

Attempt blocked. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

14:47

Attempt saved. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

14:05

Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:05

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

13:39

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

12:23

Attempt missed. Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is too high. Assisted by Gaël Clichy with a cross.

11:07

Foul by Samir Nasri (Manchester City).

11:07

Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:49

Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).

9:49

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

8:50

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

7:01

Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stevan Jovetic.

5:33

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

4:54

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:54

Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).

0:57

Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

0:57

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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