Presumably Manuel Pellegrini knows it will not always be this straightforward and that Manchester City will not come up against teams as hopelessly out of their depth as this every week. Newcastle United were certainly obliging opponents for Pellegrini's first match and they suffered badly against a team that attacked from every angle.

It was a wonderful display: fluent, slick, pass-them-to-death football, underpinned by a collective desire to get the Pellegrini era off with a bang. Equally a game as one-sided as this cannot sensibly be taken as an accurate barometer when their opponents were so utterly abject.

Newcastle should just be grateful that City restricted themselves to two first-half goals from David Silva and Sergio Agüero, then another two after the break fromYaya Touré's free-kick and the substitute Samir Nasri. Bad as it was, 4-0 does not really do justice to the pummelling they had to endure.

Alan Pardew talked later about there being a risk it could "emotionally scar us". The Newcastle manager also lost Jonás Gutiérrez to injury and there was a touch of ignominy thrown in for good measure in the form of the forearm chop that Steven Taylor served on Agüero to get a straight red card at the end of the first half. Moments earlier Taylor had been fortunate to escape giving away a penalty after an Agüero shot struck his arm. The two players were still disputing it when a high ball came their way and Taylor swung his left arm. With 11 men Newcastle had been hanging on. With 10 it was futile.

For Pellegrini the only downside was Vincent Kompany coming off with a suspected groin injury in the second half. City's new manager had promised vibrant, attacking football and he was good to his word. Even their two holding midfielders, Touré and Fernandinho, are better known for their qualities further forward.

Jesús Navas and Silva tormented Newcastle in the wide positions and Agüero's partnership with Edin Dzeko in attack made it feel inconsequential that Carlos Tevez has moved on and Stevan Jovetic was injured. Roberto Mancini's teams could be devastating going forwards sometimes but this forward six is brimming with even more adventure. Gareth Barry, one of the linchpins of the previous era, was not even on the bench.

Their confidence could be summed up by the moment in the first half when Kompany found himself, as the last man, under pressure from Yoan Gouffran. The City captain simply rolled the ball under his own foot and nonchalantly went on his way. Kompany would later play a stunning part in the Agüero goal, outmuscling Papiss Cissé then striding forwards to turn defence into attack. Dzeko flicked on the pass and suddenly Agüero was running through the inside-right channel, expertly picking his spot to score off the inside of the post.

Newcastle had looked dishevelled from the start. Pardew could barely disguise his anger as he explained why Yohan Cabaye had been left out, as a direct consequence of Arsenal's unsuccessful £10m bid. Newcastle are entitled to be irritated by the timing of the offer, regardless of how short they believe it falls but Pardew could not explain how brittle and naive his team had been.

Tim Krul had already made a splendid save to keep out Agüero, and Dzeko had put another effort narrowly wide, before the early bombardment conjured up the opening goal. Dzeko was prominently involved again, taking Silva's pass, then turning past the right-back, Mathieu Debuchy, far too easily. His cross ricocheted off Taylor and the deflection left Krul hopelessly exposed for Silva to head into a gaping goal.

The damage could have been even more grievous for Newcastle if the referee, Andre Marriner, had punished Debuchy's risky challenge on Touré inside the penalty area six minutes later. Add that to the one Taylor got away with and this could have been a confirmed thrashing even before Pardew's men had tasted their half-time oranges. As it was, the only criticism of the home team was the number of chances they passed up.

Pardew responded to Taylor's red card by taking off Gouffran and bringing on Paul Dummett, a 21-year-old defender, probably knowing the pressure was going to be just as unremitting after the break as it had been before. It began with Krul saving brilliantly from Dzeko, who will wonder how he went the night without scoring, and it was inevitable there would be more goals.

After 50 minutes Debuchy brought down Agüero on the edge of the penalty area and Touré's free-kick was curled beautifully around the wall and into the top corner.

The fourth goal, however, epitomised Newcastle's performance. Pablo Zabaleta's pass was directed towards Dzeko but eluded him and simply rolled through the middle of the opposition defence. Debuchy's attempt to cut out the danger was verging on pathetic and Nasri ran clear to roll his shot past Krul. Four-nil – with Alvaro Negredo playing only 10 minutes and Jovetic still to come. Pellegrini, nodding his appreciation from the touchline, could hardly have imagined a better start.