Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 10/15/11

PALO ALTO, CA - JULY 19: Mario Balotelli #45 of Inter Milan looks on against Club America during the World Football Challenge at Stanford Stadium on July 19, 2009 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Mario Balotelli did his best to prove to manager Roberto Mancini that he is his number one striker as his stunning goal helped Manchester City on their way to a crushing win over Aston Villa that handed them the outright leadership of the Barclays Premier League. Given the chance to lead the line for a second straight game, the 21-year-old, a £24million signing from Inter Milan last summer, thrived on the responsibility and his sumptuous first-half overhead kick brought his side to life after a sterile opening. With Villa's resistance broken, Adam Johnson, Vincent Kompany and James Milner added second-half goals and Owen Hargreaves came on for his Premier League debut on a near-perfect afternoon for City, who pulled two points clear of cross-city rivals United ahead of next weekend's Manchester derby. Stephen Warnock netted a consolation for Villa. Balotelli's goal was complemented by an industrious performance all over the pitch, reminiscent of his showing in the 4-0 win over Bl...
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