The Italian scored twice from penalties to guide City to the top of the table prior to Manchester United’s away clash with Birmingham.
GOAL Less than five minutes later, it was 2-0 when Joleon Lescott, playing his second game back after about four weeks out with injury hit flicked it over the line before GOAL Balotelli grabbed his second in the 27th minute, tapping in after good work from David Silva.
GOAL The rout was complete when Balotelli stood up for his hat-trick after Adam Johnson was sent sprawling by Marc Albrighton and the ex-Inter Milan man knocked it into the other corner from where he beat Friedel the first time. It was his eighth goal in 11 matches in all competitions, five of those coming from seven Premier League starts.
City recorded a second win in the matter of a few days, following the 3-1 win at Newcastle whilst Villa dropped to 15th with their fifth loss in their past six outings.