Argentina striker Sergio Aguero endured a bittersweet first match of 2013 for Manchester City, rounding off the scoring in a routine 3-0 win over Stoke before giving the champions a scare by going off injured.
Aguero converted a 74th-minute penalty, adding to goals by compatriot Pablo Zabaleta and fellow forward Edin Dzeko, to ensure Stoke's 10-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to a crushing end at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Aguero was forced off three minutes later, clutching his right hamstring, after pulling up sharply as he ran.
That was the only negative on City's day as Roberto Mancini's second-place team stayed seven points behind Manchester United in the title race.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic worked wonders to keep Stoke in the game before Zabaleta's gola, coming out on top in his private duel with Aguero.
The striker was presented with four gilt-edged chances in the opening 33 minutes, but was denied three times by brilliant Begovic saves wh...