The home side took an early 1-0 lead thanks to Sergio Aguero's sixth-minute strike past Ben Foster, before second-half goals from Aguero, Carlos Tevez and David Silva capped a fine performance from Roberto Mancini's men.

Both sides started in confident fashion, and each had early attempts on goal, with Simon Cox dragging a shot wide for West Brom after a nervy clearance by City captain Vincent Kompany, and Aguero seeing a shot blocked.

Aguero was not to be denied with his second chance, netting the opener in the sixth minute after surging forward and shooting past Foster from just inside the penalty area.

With West Brom struggling to keep possession, City took a stranglehold on the match with Silva, Tevez and Micah Richards all coming close to extending the advantage before half-time.

The hosts retained control after the interval and saw Samir Nasri flash a first-time volley just wide of the near post after a superb cross from Silva.

The persistent pressure paid off in the 53rd minute, with Nasri threading a pass to Aguero, who finished calmly for a 2-0 lead.

Aguero turned provider seven minutes later, playing a square ball into the penalty area that was finished with aplomb by Tevez, who celebrated his first start since September with a goal.

Argentine Aguero was again involved in City's fourth, picking the ball up around the centre circle and finding Silva, who chipped his finish over the onrushing Foster.

Adam Johnson made some headway on the left-hand side for City in the closing stages, but the score stayed at 4-0 as Mancini's side cut Manchester United's lead atop the standings to five points.