Much of the pre-match talk was of Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to drop Joe Hart, but, in truth, it mattered little who was City’s custodian in between the posts as they put in an imperious attacking performance.
If Ruddy was left with little chance with the first, he should have done much better with the second and third. First he let a David Silva effort squirm under him with 20 minutes gone before letting a pretty tame – albeit deflected - Matija Nastasic header in at his near post just five minutes later.
Such was City’s dominance, it was of some surprise that they added only one more goal to their haul before the break when Alvaro Negredo bundled an Aguero centre home with 36 minutes gone.
Ruddy had a poor first half but was in mercurial form come the second period as he, at times, single-handedly denied City.
Despite his heroics, the home side added three more in the second period as Yaya Toure curled a 60th minute free-kick into the top corner to make it five before Aguero capitalised on a poor Sebastian Bassong clearance to make it six with a 71st minute volley.
Substitute Edin Dzeko completed the rout with an 86th-minute finish having been afforded too much space in the box.
16 - GOAL: What a shambles. Aguero is first to a Silva blocked shot. He fires on goal but Turner blocks. The ricochet from Turner’s block hits Johnson and loops in over Ruddy. Aguero has his hand in the air but surely an own goal.
20’ – GOAL: Nasri finds Aguero in behind who comes back on himself before feeding Silva, who fires on goal. While the shot had power on it Ruddy should have really claimed it.
25’ - GOAL: Dreadful from Ruddy! Nasri whips a corner in that Nastasic heads toward goal but it comes off Martin and goes in at the near post. Ruddy should have claimed it though as the deflection took any sort of pace off it.
36’ - GOAL: Toure feeds Aguero – who is in an offside position inside the box – but he squares for Negredo who bundles home.
37’ - SAVE: Pilkington, who has been the brightest Norwich player on the pitch, picks the ball up in a pocket of space and drives forward before drawing a save from Pantilimon from 25 yards out.
60’ - GOAL: Toure bends the free-kick over the wall and into the top corner – no chance for Ruddy.
71’ - GOAL: Silva works some space and crosses – Bassong’s clearance is dreadful and falls straight to Aguero who volleys a sixth.
86’ - GOAL: Grief. 7-0. Dzeko is afforded far too much space inside the box – he turns Bassong and slots one bottom corner from just inside the box.
KEY STATS (Infostrada unless stated)
127 - Joe Hart misses his first league game since April 2010 (v Man City for Birmingham) ending a run of 127 successive starts. Absent. (Opta)
Manchester City scored four (or more) goals in the first half of a Premier League match for only the third time – after their 6-1 win at Burnley (5-0 at half-time) and 5-1 home win v Hull (4-0 at half-time).
Alvaro Negredo has scored 21 goals in his last 28 League appearances (for Sevilla & Man City).
Man City became the seventh club to score in 55 successive English top flight home matches and the first since Manchester United set a run of 66 home matches between 2009 and 2013.
Yaya Toure scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season – all five have come from a set-piece - he is the top Premier League scorer from set-pieces this season, ahead of Wayne Rooney (4).
TALKING POINT: Is Costel Pantilimon an adequate replacement for Joe Hart. On this evidence, no. He had to make one save all match but looked shaky at corners. Maybe Hart just needs some time away from the spotlight.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Manchester City: Pantilimon 5, Zabaleta 7, Demichelis 5, Nastasic 6, Clichy 6, Nasri 8, Fernandinho 7, Toure 7, Silva 9, Aguero 7, Negredo 7. Subs: Milner 6, Dzeko 6, Jesus Navas 6.
Norwich: Ruddy 6, Martin 5, Turner 5, Bassong 4, Olsson 4, Johnson 4, Whittaker 5, Howson 5, Fer 4, Pilkington 5, Hooper 5. Subs: Elmander 5, Murphy 5.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET