Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez each struck twice as Manchester City fired a warning to their critics with an emphatic 5-0 win over Aston Villa.
The Barclays Premier League champions went ahead through David Silva at the Etihad Stadium and then clicked into gear after being awarded a controversial penalty early in the second half.
Aguero struck from the spot and added another while Tevez, who celebrated by pretending to drive after his Porsche was impounded by police, added his own penalty and a close-range finish.
City controlled the early stages but did not create a serious chance aside from a scuffed Aguero shot which bounced awkwardly and Tevez headed over. Maicon, initially seeing plenty of the ball after being preferred to Pablo Zabaleta, also found space to shoot but his effort went well wide.
Joe Hart reacted brilliantly to produce a one-handed save and Vincent Kompany recovered to block Andreas Weimann's follow-up attempt, although a flag had been raised.
There was little quality about City's opener when it arrived two minutes before the interval. Villa failed to deal with a Samir Nasri corner but Tevez could not connect properly with a shot. The ball bobbled dangerously inside the goal area and Silva reacted quickest to tuck home from close range.
City started the second half brightly, with Tevez shooting across goal and Silva playing in Aguero with a fine ball. Aguero shaped to shoot but was perhaps punished for a split-second's hesitation as Vlaar denied him with a fine tackle. Aguero was not to be denied for long but plenty of controversy surrounded his penalty as the assistant referee flagged for an offence as Silva swung in a corner.
What it was awarded for was not immediately apparent, not least to the majority of the Villa team who surrounded the officials. Replays suggested Weimann may have handled the cross but the debate continued long after Aguero had dispatched the spot-kick. Villa felt wronged and were unable to recover.
There was little debate over the second penalty they conceded for handball as Barry Bannan was penalised after 65 minutes. Tevez sent Bradley Guzan the wrong way and ran off pretending to be at the wheel of a car.
Things got worse almost immediately for Villa as Hart launched a counter-attack and Aguero burst into the area and finished inside the near post from a tight angle. Edin Dzeko, on for Aguero, found Nasri and the Frenchman's ball across the area was tapped in from six yards by Tevez, who repeated his earlier car celebration.