Tevez double has Liverpool on the mat
Carlos Tevez claimed two second-half goals as a confident Manchester City overwhelmed Liverpool 3-0 to underline their Premier League title credentials on Monday.
Newly-signed England midfielder James Milner enjoyed an impressive debut, setting up the 13th minute opener by surging into the box and stroking the ball back for former Aston Villa team mate Gareth Barry to side-foot home.
Tevez made it 2-0 in the 52nd, claiming a classic poacher's goal from point-blank range after seemingly adding the final snatched touch to a powerful Micah Richards header.
Richards told Sky Sports television that the goal was his.
"It's definitely mine, I'm definitely going to claim it," he said.
There was no doubt about the third, with the Argentine striker calmly sending Pepe Reina the wrong way as he slotted home from the penalty spot in the 68th after Adam Johnson was felled in the box by Martin Skrtel.
Image: Manchester City's Carlos Tevez (2nd from left) celebrates after scoring against Liverpool on Monday
'If the squad has a good mentality, it can beat everyone'
With Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour given a standing ovation by the fans on attending his first home game since buying the club two years ago, big-spending City provided plenty for their billionaire owner to savour on a wet night at Eastlands.
City, who have spent more than 100 million pounds ($155.9 million) on players since they finished fifth last season, moved up to fourth overall after beating Liverpool for the first time since 2005.
Champions Chelsea, who thrashed Wigan Athletic 6-0 on Saturday, have a maximum six points from two games with Arsenal second on four after crushing Blackpool by the same scoreline.
"The mentality is very important," said City manager Roberto Mancini, who rested new Italian signing Mario Balotelli with Tevez alone up front. "If the squad has a good mentality, it can beat everyone."
It was City's best league result against the once-mighty visitors, whose own title aspirations have been fuelled by the arrival of manager Roy Hodgson and some high-profile summer signings, in 73 years.
Image: Manchester City's owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan acknowledges the crowd ahead of their EPL match against Liverpool on Monday
'We were a bit unlucky'
"We were a little bit unlucky to get beaten so heavily," Hodgson told Sky. "I didn't think we really deserved to get beaten 3-0.
"Pepe Reina wasn't called into action that often and I thought we had one or two good spells in the game but we were playing against a very effective and strong Manchester city side," he added.
Liverpool were without unsettled Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano, who is linked to Spanish champions Barcelona, and the suspended Joe Cole but had Spanish striker Fernando Torres - a summer target for City - making his first start of the season.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hit the post with a powerful shot in the second half while City goalkeeper Joe Hart, again favoured over Shay Given, made a stunning double save to deny David Ngog and Torres.
"When Hart made that incredible double save, at 2-1 that might have put some more life back into the game," said Hodgson.
"It's only two matches into the season...I think it's a bit premature to start discussing how big the job is," he added when asked about the task ahead of him.
Image: Manchester City's Micah Richards (right) and Liverpool's Lucas vie for possession
Hodgson 'hoping against hope' to keep Mascherano
Argentina captain Javier Mascherano was absent from Liverpool's lineup at Manchester City on Monday but manager Roy Hodgson said he was still hoping to persuade him to stay at the Premier League club.
Hodgson told Sky Sports television that the midfielder, most recently linked to a transfer to Spanish champions Barcelona, had been left out because he did not think he was in the right frame of mind to play.
"It will get resolved as quickly as it can get resolved," Hodgson said. "I would like Mascherano to stay, that's my hope.
"We don't really want to sell him. Certainly we don't want to sell him for the type of fee that is being suggested at the moment and it will be up to the clubs to sort that out.
"I am hoping, maybe hoping against hope but still hoping, that Javier Mascherano will still play for us because he's such a good player and he will make us into a better team."
Image: Javier Mascherano and Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson