MANCHESTER, England - Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City revolution got off to the perfect start as 10-man Newcastle were crushed 4-0 at Eastlands yesterday.
Pellegrini was hired by City's Abu Dhabi-based owners to revitalise a team that surrendered the Premier League title to Manchester United last season and the Chilean's new players responded by delivering a stylish victory in his first match in charge.
With title rivals United and Chelsea both winning over the weekend, this was a must-win match for former Malaga boss Pellegrini, who handed starts to new signings Jesus Navas and Fernandinho.
Spanish midfielder David Silva headed the opener in the sixth minute and Argentina forward Sergio Aguero steered in the second in the 22nd minute.
Newcastle's troubles continued when defender Steven Taylor was sent off just before half-time for catching Aguero with a forearm.
Yaya Toure's superb 50th minute free-kick made it three and Samir Nasri came off the bench to complete the demolition with a cool finish 15 minutes from full-time.
Meanwhile Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta signed a new four-year contract just hours before his team's opening Premier League fixture on early this week.
Zabaleta was handed the improved deal ahead of the Eastlands clash against Newcastle as reward for his outstanding form throughout the 2012-13 season, which saw him named as City's player of the year.
The 28-year-old Argentina right-back has made 175 appearances for City since signing from Espanyol in 2008.
"I have been here for five years and it feels like home," Zabaleta said.
"Signing a contract extension with the club makes me feel very happy.
"I feel great here, I like the Premiership, and I think Manchester City are one of the clubs looking for success in the future.
"It is a club that is very well organised and when you see that everything works well you want to be here."
Zabaleta joined City the day before the club was transformed by Sheikh Mansour's takeover.
He appeared as a substitute in the 2011 FA Cup final win against Stoke and went on to play an important part in City's 2012 Premier League title success.
Last season's fine campaign for the Argentine ended on a sour note when he was sent off in City's shock FA Cup final loss to Wigan.