MANCHESTER, England (AP) Sergio Aguero scored two goals despite missing a penalty as Manchester City used a dominant second-half performance to thrash last-place Aston Villa 4-0 and revive its Premier League title challenge Saturday.
All the goals came after halftime as Villa imploded at Etihad Stadium to slip closer to relegation with its 19th loss in 29 games this season.
Yaya Toure's deflected shot gave City the lead in the 48th minute before Aguero scored in the 50th when Micah Richards's attempted clearance ricocheted in off the striker. Aguero exchanged passes with David Silva to volley in for 3-0 in the 60th and Raheem Sterling converted Jesus Navas's cross in the 66th for the fourth goal.
Aguero was denied a hat trick after striking a 73rd-minute penalty against the post, having missed a slew of chances in a one-sided first half.
City had lost its last three league games but this win - coupled with an earlier 2-2 draw between fellow title contenders Tottenham and Arsenal - puts Manuel Pellegrini's team back in the race. With a game in hand, fourth-place City is now five points behind second-place Spurs.
Home fans were frustrated at halftime, which Villa went into level despite total dominance from City. Wilfried Bony was the prime focus of ire as the striker, making his first start since Dec. 26, failed to impress.
Aguero looked lively throughout though, and sparked City's second-half improvement to take his goal tally to 21 for the season in all competitions.