City begin life without Roberto Mancini with a win over relegated Royals.
Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko cheered managerless Manchester City in the wake of Roberto Mancini’s sacking as the Argentina and Bosnia strikers scored in a 2-0 win over relegated Reading at Madejski Stadium.
Aguero bagged the first five minutes before the break and substitute Dzeko added a second in the 88th minute as caretaker boss Brian Kidd guided his second-placed side to victory a day after Mancini was fired.
Speculation continues to mount over his successor with Malaga’s Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini the red-hot favourite for the post.
Alongside the speculation over who would take over from Mancini, another talking point surrounding City was the absence of their skipper Vincent Kompany, said to be suffering from fatigue.
The beaten FA Cup finalists made four changes to their starting XI with Micah Richards replacing Kompany as skipper.
Also in defence Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott came in for Pablo Zabaleta and Matija Nastasic while James Milner filled in for Samir Nasri.
Royals’ manager Nigel Adkins had a much easier task picking his side and named the same team that beat Fulham 4-2 last time out for his first win in charge of the club.
From the outset it was second-placed City in the driving seat as they had a number of early chances against a relegated side looking to avoid finishing bottom.
First, Aguero was denied by impressive Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who palmed away his stinging drive after three minutes.
Then James Milner kept the pressure on, only for McCarthy to make an initial save before Aguero followed up and Sean Morrison blocked.
Royals, still in 19th place, had little in reply, but when they did muster an attack it tended to either come from or through Hal Robson-Kanu.
First, the Wales winger saw a shot skid wide of the target before Joe Hart was forced to make a low save when Robson-Kanu played in Gareth McCleary on the edge of the box.
At the other end, McCarthy continued to excel as he showed lightening-quick reactions to push a Carlos Tevez header to safety.
But there was little he could do to keep out Aguero’s opener as Milner played a one-two with David Silva before picking out the Argentina international, who side-footed home.
It was a move that looked as if it had come straight from the training ground and Reading’s defence were as static as cones.
In the second-hale Adkins’ side took the fight to the former Premier League champions.
But even with a changed back-four City were still too strong.
Playing a high line City were afforded time on the ball and enjoyed knocking the ball through midfield with Yaya Toure and Milner working hard in the engine room.
Rare advances from Robson-Kanu and McCleary were easily mopped up and lone striker Pavel Pogrebnyak failed to get into the game.
Tevez should have added a second to put the game to bed in the 60th minute but fired way off target.
He attempted to make up for that miss by firing another fierce shot towards goal – only for McCarthy to parry again.
Dzeko made sure of the three points as he showed neat skill and composure before firing past McCarthy from 12 yards.
City’s search for a new manager now goes on with one game left in the Premier League this season before they jet off to America for an end-of-season tour.