MANCHESTER — Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has unearthed a triangle of attacking delight at the Etihad Stadium.
During the dominant 4-1 win over Manchester United in the Derby on Sunday, flashes of attacking brilliance littered City’s win.
Often those moments of magic came from City’s brilliant attacking trio of Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo, as the triumbrant tore Manchester United apart.
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Aguero scored twice, Nasri once, and Negredo helped himself to two assists as the Sky Blues sent out a message to the rest of the Premier League. Undermine us at your peril.
After the game, Man City boss Pellegrini applauded his team and picked out special praise for Samir Nasri. For the first goal Nasri’s ball to Alexander Kolarov allowed the Serbian international to perfectly tee up Aguero to score a wonderful volley.
And the second goal before half was the killer blow, as Yaya Toure flicked home following Negredo’s downward header from a Nasri corner.
You just knew those two would be involved again.
After the break, just when many thought United were going to make surge back into the game, City’s three musketeers came flying out of the traps to add another two goals in three minutes.
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In the 47th minute Negredo was played through by Nasri, and the Spanish striker swiveled and picked out Aguero with his cross, as the Argentine tapped home from close range to send the Etihad wild, and give City a commanding 3-0 lead that they thoroughly deserved.
Then less than three minutes later, Nasri was picked out at the back post by Jesus Navas, another City attacker who impressed, and the Frenchman smashed home a volley to make it 4-0.
City were in dreamland and every time they flooded forward, either Nasri, Aguero or Negredo looked like scoring or creating a goal.
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Cries of “Aguero, Aguero” emanated from the home fans at the Etihad, the movement of their Argentine striker was sublime. And with Negredo bullying Rio Ferdinand and Nasri turning Chris Smalling inside out, City’s domineering display was punctuated by the play of their delightful trio.
Yet despite all of their fluid, inter-locking movement that terrorized United’s defense all afternoon, there are still a few teething problems here and there. In the 34th minute, Nasri and Aguero combined on the edge of the box, with Negredo over hitting his through ball to Aguero as Nasri made the decoy run.
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As the ball trickled out of play for a goal kick, Nasri and Aguero looked at each other, almost in disgust, and made hand gestures as to where they should have run and when the ball should have been played.. Their disappointment at failing to bamboozle United, just on one occasion, shows just how confident they are in playing alongside each other.
Their partnership, especially with Negredo, is obviously being worked on in training, and it’s clicking. That’s bad news for the rest of the league, as Manchester City could’ve won by even more on Sunday.
Negredo, Nasri and Aguero are coming for you.