Manchester City 5 CSKA Moscow 2 analysis: Sergio Aguero is up with the best, David Silva is the golden boy and City are now more attacking

Five things we learnt from the Champions League victory at the Emirates

1. Aguero is up with the best

When you look beyond Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, at the mortals, Sergio Aguero might just be the best right now. For the last two months he has been brilliant, surely the world’s most dangerous striker, and this was probably his finest performance yet. The first goal was simply a very good penalty but the second was an undefendable spin and strike into the bottom corner, before his curling cross set up Alvaro Negredo for the third. That is nine goals in Aguero’s last six games – or 12 in nine – and with the thrilling prospect of even more to come.

2. Silva the golden boy

Manchester City will be hoping that David Silva overcomes whatever forced him off in the second half. While Aguero is certainly playing the best football of his City career, Silva could be as well, continuing his good run with another delightful hour. Silva won the penalty in the second minute, shuffling past Zoran Tosic and drawing a foul. If there is one consolation of sorts, it is that Samir Nasri is also in excellent form, consistently showing the commitment and spirit he has sometimes lacked, dazzling with his brilliant feet and smartly setting up two goals

3. City are now more attacking

There can be no doubt now that Manuel Pellegrini has changed City. Not just that they will now play knockout football in the Champions League for the first time, but the relentless attacking quality of their play at home is far beyond what was seen under Roberto Mancini. These were the 30th to 34th home goals of the season in just their eighth match at the Etihad Stadium. Whether they will have the application and control which won Mancini trophies, will only be seen in time, but their ability to stack goals like this is remarkable.

4. Mind the gap in midfield

If there is one tactical criticism to be made of Pellegrini’s City, it is the gap in midfield. Even yesterday there was a space behind Yaya Touré and Fernandinho, in which CSKA Moscow looked their most dangerous. There CSKA won a few dangerous free-kicks, and it was in that gap Pontus Wernbloom slid in Seydou Doumbia for their first goal. Matija Nastasic and Martin Demichelis were not perfect, but this was just their third game together. Pellegrini has gone 4-4-2 in all but one game this season. It is a system he is committed to, confident of outscoring the opposition.

5. Dzeko is frozen out again

This was not an excellent night to be Edin Dzeko. For the first time this season, Pellegrini made no changes to his starting XI – he finally knows his best team – and the strike partnership between Aguero and Alvaro Negredo is essential to that. They were excellent again yesterday, as individuals and as a pair. Dzeko’s only start in the last seven games came in the Capital One Cup. He grew so frustrated with his substitute role under Mancini, and there must be a fear now it will happen again.w

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory