Leroy Sane's goal shortly before half-time changed the dynamic of the game entirely and he then also contributed two assists
Premier League leaders Manchester City eventually overpowered a Crystal Palace side who became the first team in English Football League history to start a season with six defeats and no goals.
City were only top alphabetically before kick-off, but now lead neighbours Manchester United on goal difference after continuing a prolific start to the new campaign that has seen them score 22 goals in their past five matches.
They had to wait until the very end of the first half to find a way past an initially well-drilled Palace side, but the Eagles lost shape and belief after the break as City ran riot.
Leroy Sane broke the deadlock with a stylish goal that saw him gallop into the area and lift David Silva's pass over the head of the hapless Scott Dann before prodding home.
At that stage Palace still had hope, but that evaporated at the beginning of the second half thanks to two Raheem Sterling goals in the space of eight minutes.
Sterling made it 2-0 when he met a peach of a cross from Sane and then ended the game as a contest when he fired home Aguero's pull-back from close range.
Aguero, needing three goals to pass Eric Brook and become City's record scorer, joined the party with 11 minutes to go when he nodded home another Sane delivery.
Substitute Fabian Delph completed the rout to punish Palace further with a fierce strike into the top corner before the end.
Palace hit the post but wait for a goal goes on
Palace striker Christian Benteke had more touches in his own area (left) than the three he had in the City area
They ended up on the wrong end of a heavy defeat but you could argue Palace did far better than expected in the first half at the Etihad.
Defending in numbers but breaking forward with pace, they almost ended their wait for a league goal this season when Ruben Loftus-Cheek saw his shot deflected on to a post.
Palace's counter-attack raids gave City something to think about with the score at 0-0 but that plan went out of the window when Sane scored just before the break.
Hodgson's sides are known for their organisation and determination but they were run ragged in the second half and showed few signs they would end their goal drought.
With games against Manchester United and Chelsea to come, Hodgson has his work cut out to improve his side at both ends of the pitch - and quickly.
City attacking juggernaut gathers pace
Raheem Sterling has scored five goals in his last four Premier League games, as many as he had scored in his previous 31
It is now 630 minutes - or seven full games - since Crystal Palace last scored a Premier League goal, on 14 May.
In that time, City have scored 29 league goals in eight matches, and show no sign of stopping - whoever is in their line-up.
Gabriel Jesus, who has linked so effectively with Aguero up front this season, was an unused substitute on Saturday.
The Brazilian was not needed, and Bernardo Silva only came on for the last half-hour, as Sane staked his claim for a regular starting place and Sterling continued his fine form.
With David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne pulling the strings, Guardiola must be wondering who is in his strongest team because at the moment City score goals whoever is playing.
The only sour note of Guardiola's day was an injury which forced Benjamin Mendy off before the break and he believes it could be knee ligament damage.
"Without Mendy, we cannot attack fluently with our full-back down the left," said Guardiola.
Man of the match - Leroy Sane
With a goal and two assists, the bare stats hint at his influence on the match but they do not do reflect the quality of first touch that led to Sane starting the scoring, or his deliveries that allowed Sterling and Aguero to add to his opener
Prolific City, dire Eagles - the stats
- Crystal Palace are the only team in Europe's big five divisions yet to score a league goal this season.
- This is Manchester City's best goal return after six league games (21).
- Manchester City are the first side to score 5+ goals in three consecutive top-flight games in the same season since Blackburn did so in 1958-59.
- David Silva has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace (four goals, three assists).
- Leroy Sane has scored five goals from just seven shots on target in all competitions for Man City this season.
'First goal does the damage' - Manager reaction
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola:"The first half we had problems as the ball must be moved and we didn't move it.
"But the last 10-15 minutes of the half we got it.The second-half was much, much better.Sane's goal was so important.His first touch for the goal was brilliant.He runs in behind amazingly.Always the right tempo and moment."
Man City feeling better than last season - Guardiola
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson:"I thought at half-time to come in at 1-0 down is a bit unfortunate.I thought we'd played some good football.
"The goal before half-time was very damaging.We didn't defend anywhere near as well as we should have done for that goal."
Palace have a lot of work to do - Hodgson
Champions League and Chelsea next for City
City entertain Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday (19:45 BST) and end the week with a serious test of their title credentials when they travel to play Chelsea (Saturday, 17:30).
"We will see what is our level when we face the last champions," was Guardiola's take on it.His side lost home and away to Antonio Conte's team last season.
Palace are back in Manchester next Saturday when they play United at Old Trafford (15:00) in what is their last chance to get a league point or goal before the international break.Fail to manage that and they will have to wait until 14 October, when they play Chelsea, to get off the mark....