Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini was on cloud nine after his side defeated Sunderland 4-1. Sergio Aguero scored his side’s first and fourth goals while other strikes from Stevan Jovetic and Pablo Zabaleta saw the visitors hit back from the shock of conceding an early opener to Connor Wickham.

“I think we are returning to the performances we had last season,” Pellegrini said. “I think if we continue playing this way of course we will fight for the title, but I think three or four other teams will also be there.”

Aguero has been one of Manchester City;s standout performers and has been the force behind Manchester City’s attack force this season.

“”He is an important player but it is not just Sergio Aguero — we play in a way that it is very useful for him to score but it is important for him not just to think about scoring but to play for the team.”

“There are a lot of good strikers but I said before the last game that I am sure he is one of the best five players in the world because he is not just scoring, he is playing very well.”

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet was also fascinated by Aguero’s thunderbolt strike and said “Sergio is unique and at this moment in time he is one of the top three on-form strikers. He has performed week in, week out whether it is against us or Bayern Munich and it shows.

‘I can’t have too many complaints – they were better than us in every aspect of the game. We started well and had a chance before we scored our goal, but then Aguero appears from nowhere and does something special.’

Meanwhile Pellegrini had encouraging news on captain Vincent Kompany, who has been ruled out for at least a week with a hamstring injury and is in a race against time to be fit for the crucial UEFA Champions League clash with Roma next Wednesday.

“Vincent is improving and maybe it is not such a serious injury as we thought at the beginning — but he needs to see the whole week and we will see what happens with him,” Pellegrini said.

With this win Manchester City six points adrift of league leaders Chelsea. Manchester City would be hoping for Chelsea to slip up and capitalize on their mistakes. Chelsea entertain Newcastle United on Saturday while Manchester City play against Everton.