Manchester City began life under Manuel Pellegrini with an emphatic win over 10-man Newcastle United who suffered their worst away defeat for 25 years at the Etihad Stadium.
David Silva set the tone with a sixth minute opener before Sergio Aguero doubled the advantage mid-way through the first half.
Steven Taylor was dismissed in the brink of half-time for striking Aguero before Yaya Toure's free-kick and substitute Samir Nasri's calm finish capped an ideal start to Pellegrini's first game in English football and pilled the misery on Newcastle.
Following a summer dominated by controversial shirt-sponsor Wonga, the future of leading striker Papiss Cisse, the unpopular appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football and the failure to land a series of high profile transfer targets, the result represents the worst possible start to the campaign for manager Alan Pardew.
Last season's 15<sup>th place finish in the Premier League forced the appointment of Kinnear by owner Mike Ashley, and the emphatic nature of the opening day defeat will only swell uncertainty regarding the manager's long-term future at St James' Park.
Pardew was without influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye after news of Arsenal's £10m bid for the Frenchman while sole summer signing Loic Remy was unavailable due to injury.
Opposite number Pellegrini alternatively had the luxury of fielding two of his summer signings in the form of Jesus Navas and Fernandinho from the start, with Alvaro Negredo on the bench while Steven Jovetic missed out altogether due to injury.
But it was a combination between two of former boss Roberto Mancini's cohorts who gave City an early lead as Edin Dzeko drove the ball across goal and when Taylor miss-timed his clearance Silva headed beyond Tim Krul.
The Dutch stopper was kept busy throughout and was forced to pick the ball out of his own net once again after 22 minutes when Dzeko released Aguero who found the corner from 20 yards.
Newcastle's frustration was visibly growing with yellow cards coming for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko in quick succession before Taylor, the most experienced member of the Toon XI, was sent off for hitting Aguero.
Toure curled home a free-kick five minutes after the interval and when Nasri's intervened between Fabricio Coloccini to make it four, City were targeting an opening weekend rout.
Negredo should have marked his cameo appearance with a debut goal but was wrongly adjudged to be offside but it mattered little as City, who lost captain Vincent Kompany to injury late on, got off to the best possible start in their pursuit of the league title while Newcastle face a long season ahead.