Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet is powerless to stop this drive from James Milner Photograph: Getty
The scoreline barely reflected the hosts' dominance as they comfortably recorded their first clean sheet of the season in a one-sided contest at the Etihad Stadium.
And assistant manager David Platt felt Manchester City had produced an emphatic response to suggestions manager Roberto Mancini's tinkering with his defence had left them significantly exposed.
Platt said: "Games go for us and against us [but] on the back of a bad result we always get a reaction from top players, and that's what we got. We are not stuttering as much as people make out. We have put ourselves in a decent position.
"If you do a parallel with our first seven games of last season, in terms of goals conceded and points, that puts us better off."
City now have 15 points seven games into their title defence and remain unbeaten. The result also brought up the welcome statistic of a first clean sheet of the season for the in-form but often exposed Joe Hart.
Platt said: "I'm delighted for the team and Joe. We kept a clean sheet last week in our eyes, because it was never a penalty against Fulham"
Despite the manner of the performance, there was one negative point as Mario Balotelli headed straight down the tunnel after being substituted, but Platt shrugged it aside.
Kolarov opened the scoring with a superb free-kick after five minutes but it was not until the hour that substitute Aguero doubled the advantage.
Milner put a more realistic sheen on the scoreline when he curled in a free-kick after 89 minutes.
Kolarov and Balotelli had both wanted to take the free-kick from which the opener came. Kolarov said: "I had a normal conversation with Mario about the free-kick. It was a good position for me to hit it with my left foot, I knew what I was going to do with it."
City rediscovered their defensive solidity without captain Vincent Kompany, who was ruled out with a calf injury, while Micah Richards made a surprise return in his place.
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill had no argument with the result. He said: "When we had possession of the ball we gave it away too easily and when we came in at half-time we could have been in trouble, but we were still in with a chance.We attacked too infrequently and the second goal was a big moment because it allowed them to go and display all their ability without the concern of conceding a goal."
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