KHARKIV, Ukraine (REUTERS) - Manchester City began to pull their weight like proper Champions League heavyweights when they became the first English team to win at Shakhtar Donetsk in European competition with a handsome 3-0 win in their group F match in Kharkiv on Tuesday (Oct 23).
City, who false started in their campaign with their only loss of the season at home to Olympique Lyonnais, were a wholly different proposition, waltzing to victory with goals from David Silva, Aymeric Laporte and substitute Bernardo Silva.
What looked a potentially difficult 1,700-mile visit to the Ukrainian champions, who had beaten Pep Guardiola's men in the group stages last year, was made to look effortlessly routine as the dazzling David Silva orchestrated their dominance.
City could easily have scored more but the victory put the English champions top of the group on six points, a point clear of Lyon, who drew 3-3 at Hoffenheim, who have two points along with bottom-placed Shakhtar.
The English Premier League leaders, with Kevin De Bruyne back for his first full start of the season after an injury layoff, continued their recent dazzling form by taking control from the opening whistle.
In the first half hour, Riyad Mahrez could and perhaps should have scored twice, once after City had broken with breathtaking pace from their own half, before he then also set up David Silva to flick impudently against Shakhtar's post.
Yet the Spanish maestro made no mistake with a left foot volley just after the half-hour to reward City's mastery.
Five minutes later, De Bruyne's corner fell to Laporte, who was quite unmarked as he stooped to head home.
Though the home side attacked intermittently, City could have scored three more in the space of the first 12 minutes of the second half.
Bernardo Silva had been in the pitch for just 90 seconds after the excellent De Bruyne's withdrawal when another devastating City counter saw the Portuguese midfielder race through and slot his 71st minute left-foot shot in off the far post.
It sealed Shakhtar's first defeat in 12 matches in all competitions, leaving their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages looking bleak.