Manchester City 3-1 Hull City: Sterling stars as hosts dominate at the Etihad

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph, as well as an own goal from Ahmed Elmohamady, saw Manchester City sweep to victory at the Etihad against a largely toothless Hull City side.

Elmohamady turned Jesus Navas' cross into his own net in the first half, before Raheem Sterling created goals first for Aguero, then for Delph.

Andrea Ranocchia scuffed in a late consolation for the visiting side, who recorded just one shot on target throughout the match.

Sluggish start in the Manchester sun

A fairly restrained start to the match saw little action of note in the opening exchanges, with both sides apparently happy to enjoy the sunshine on a balmy, languorous day in the North West.

David Silva, wearing the captain's armband for the home side on his 300th appearance for the club, had an early chance to open the scoring but a double save from Eldin Jakupovic denied first the Spaniard, then Leroy Sane.

Hull were threatening mainly on the break as one would expect, and this approach brought them a good opening after 15 minutes as Andy Robertson broke clear down the left. He found Alfred N'Diaye at the edge of the area, but the midfielder was crowded out before he could get a meaningful shot away.

Hosts turn to long-range firepower

While much of Manchester City's play had come from Sane and Sterling out wide early on, there seemed a collective decision to start shooting from range with around 20 minutes played.

Aguero drilled a low shot wide and Delph twice tried his luck from distance to no avail, before Yaya Toure came close to a spectacular opener with a bending first-time shot which dropped over Jakupovic but onto the roof of the net.

The Ivorian went close again soon after, this time from a free kick just outside the area after Evandro saw yellow for crunching into Aguero. Toure's effort had plenty of movement but was too central to really trouble Jakupovic, who leaped acrobatically to tip it over the crossbar.

Elmohamady shocker puts Blues ahead

The home fans didn't have to wait much longer for the opening goal as City began to make their superior quality show around the pitch. Navas put in a low cross which evaded everybody but Elmohamady who, under little pressure, side-footed the ball past his own keeper into the bottom left corner.

To their credit, however, Hull responded magnificently and almost hit back immediately after the opening goal.

A close-range shot was blocked by a covering defender inside the six-yard box, before Kamil Grosicki twice tried his luck after working space on the left. The Poland international failed to trouble Claudio Bravo on either occasion, but he provided a source of encouragement for the travelling fans.

Electric Sterling flattens Tigers

Barely two minutes into the second half, however, their optimism was quelled as Aguero doubled the hosts' lead. Sterling showed some superb footwork to burst into the area down the left and though Jakupovic blocked his cross-shot, it fell to the Argentine who took a touch to control the ball before bundling it over the line.

Sterling almost had another assist a moment later as he again broke clear down the right and delivered for Sane. The German met the cross well to power an effort at goal, but it hit Jakupovic on the line with the goalkeeper barely having time to register the shot.

Marco Silva brought Markus Henriksen and Abel Hernandez on to try and turn things around with half an hour to play, but the early goal in the second half left the game increasingly resembling the sterile encounter at the beginning of the first.

Delph thumps hosts three goals clear

Whatever spark the game retained was provided by Sterling on the right wing, whose direct running caused Hull problems throughout the match.

The third goal was entirely of his making. He sold Michael Dawson with a dummy down the right before flicking the ball over the Tigers captain and driving infield to find Delph.

The midfielder killed the ball outside the area before releasing a powerful curling effort into the bottom right corner to bury any lingering hopes of a Hull comeback.

Delph went close to a second with a fizzing low drive inside the final ten minutes which Jakupovic did well to tip round the post, but there was little by way of entertainment in the closing stages until Hull grabbed themselves a consolation goal with their first shot on target.

Ranocchia consolation gives away fans cheer

A corner was cleared only as far as substitute Shaun Maloney, who swept the ball to the feet of Ranocchia. The defender's first-time shot was weak but caught out the unsighted Bravo to dribble into the back of the net.

The result means Manchester City keep pace with the rest of the top four at the top of the table, while Hull's situation remains largely as it was before kick-off with relegation rivals Swansea City also losing and Middlesbrough taking only a point from their home game with Burnley.

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