Sam Wallace, The Independent
Zonal MarkingMancini's side played like a team of international superstars rather than the fractious individuals they have proved to be at certain times over the two years of the Sheikh's reign in east Manchester. They demolished a Liverpool team that looked totally out of sorts and without Javier Mascherano missed some of the familiar midfield bite.
City won comfortably without ever playing spectacular football, which simply demonstrates how poor Liverpool were. The use of Toure further forward worked reasonably well (although he doesn’t look completely fit) and Mancini’s use of inverted wingers and a false nine was very successful – Tevez had a good game, Milner got two assists, and Johnson v Agger was probably the game’s key battle. With Silva and Balotelli waiting in the wings (literally), personnel might change, but this looks like being City’s first-choice formation this season.
Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph
The Blue Moon rising last night cast an encouraging light on England. Gareth Barry, looking more svelte-like than usual, delivered a heavyweight performance in central midfield, powering forward to score City’s first and also putting in some important tackles. He was named man of the match but the sponsors’ bubbly could easily have gone to Adam Johnson, who had Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel spinning like feathers in a wind tunnel.
Matt Lawton, Daily Mail
James Milner, selected alongside five other England internationals, enjoyed an excellent debut. He not only delivered the final ball for the first two goals but combined brilliantly with the excellent Adam Johnson in providing a real threat down the flanks.
Kevin McCarra, The Guardian
Aspiring clubs have to hit a rhythm that makes victories natural if not inevitable at their own ground. Roberto Mancini's team did that on this occasion and the studied football he favours took its toll on the visitors eventually. Adam Johnson's first start of the campaign increased the refinement that will be essential if there is to be a genuine bid for the title.