Aguero magic for City
Sergio Aguero (Getty Images)
Manchester - Sergio Aguero hit a stunning hat-trick as Manchester City warmed up for their Champions League debut by defeating Wigan 3-0 at Eastlands on Saturday.
Argentina international Aguero made it six goals in four league games since joining from Atletico Madrid as Roberto Mancini's side maintained their 100 percent winning start to the campaign.
City make their Champions League bow at home to Napoli on Wednesday, and the Italians are in for a tough game if Mancini's side can repeat this performance.
Wigan were fortunate to escape lightly as Carlos Tevez also missed a penalty, while Micah Richards and Vincent Kompany both rattled the woodwork.
Fortunately for Mancini, Aguero was not so wasteful in front of goal.
Little has gone wrong for City on the pitch this season yet the world's richest club found themselves engulfed in controversy behind the scenes in the build up to Wigan's visit.
Chief executive Garry Cook resigned on the eve of the match amid claims he emailed City defender Nedum Onuoha's cancer-suffering mother mocking her illness.
Yet City, who had Kolo Toure on the bench after he served a six-month ban for failing a drugs test, are back in the headlines for the right reasons thank to Aguero.
They were ahead as early as the 13th minute, yet could have been three up before they made the breakthrough.
Adam Johnson was presented with a glorious chance to mark his return to the side with a goal, but the unmarked England winger fired wastefully over the bar following Gael Clichy's fifth-minute cross.
Then Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi produced a fine save to keep out David Silva's 20-yard effort in the 10th minute before defender Joleon Lescott headed another chance over the bar from point-blank range.
Wigan were unbeaten in the previous seven league games.
Yet their defence finally cracked as Aguero fired through the legs of Honduras defender Maynor Figueroa following an impressive move involving Tevez and Silva.
Tevez was then presented with an opportunity to mark his first league start with a goal when Wigan defender Adrian Lopez fouled Silva in the 17th minute.
However, Al Habsi saved comfortably as the Argentina striker spurned the chance to double the lead with a weak effort from the spot.
City continued to dominate yet were twice denied by the woodwork in the space of eight minutes before half-time.
A defence-splitting pass by Tevez left Richards with only the keeper to beat but the defender could only hit the underside of the bar before Kompany headed against the post.
City stepped up the tempo after the interval and Aguero completed his hat-trick with two goals in the space of six minutes.
The hosts were thankful to keeper Joe Hart for denying Hugo Rodallega before substitute Samir Nasri marked his home debut by teeing up Aguero to tuck home his second in the 63rd minute.
And the forward completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute with a neat finish following Silva's delicious pass.