Sergio Aguero netted a well-taken hattrick during Manchester City’s 6-1 rout of Aston Villa, breaking two Premier League records along the way: leapfrogging Thierry Henry to become the highest scoring non-Englishman in top-flight history while usurping Alan Shearer’s hat-trick record with his 12th too.
Manchester City were brutal but brilliant. Aston Villa were toothless, overwhelmed and overpowered by Pep Guardiola’s men – who remain one of Europe’s most feared sides.
Riyad Mahrez scored two in just six minutes as the visitors tore a sheepish Villa backline to shreds. You would think they should know better than to invite pressure in their own half against a team with City’s counter-attacking brilliance. It seemed just typical that his one-time midfield teammate Danny Drinkwater was enduring a forgettable loan debut against them, after being culpable for two of their first-half strikes.
Plenty was said about creator-in-chief Kevin de Bruyne who again flourished, while Gabriel Jesus also got on the scoresheet though Raheem Sterling could only watch on from the substitutes’ bench. Despite his best efforts, Villa star man Jack Grealish was too left helpless at times and Dean Smith’s men were far too pedestrian out of possession.
As evidenced against Watford earlier this term, City – despite their glaring defensive frailties – are perfectly capable of ruthless displays like these, though it could have been a cricket score had they not eased up in the second-half. The damage was already done.
That’s after Liverpool’s record-breaking 1-0 win over Tottenham in north London on Saturday, saw them extend their unbeaten run to 38, improving upon the Citizens’ tally of 58 points at this stage last term from from their dominant title-winning campaign.
Looking back and into the future
Aguero is now on 177 Premier League goals and the Argentine would have broken both records a long time ago had he not been ruthlessly plagued by troublesome injuries during his tenure at Eastlands. For context, the 31-year-old has missed more than 400 days of games with various issues since arriving from Atletico Madrid (£36m) in 2011.
Among the most common problems that have regularly sidelined their talismanic striker has been knee, hamstring and persistent muscular issues that never seem to fully heal and instead increase the risk of aggravation at a later date.
He’s got 18 months left to run on his existing contract and although speculation suggests he will depart for his homeland at some stage in the coming years, there’s no doubting his ever-growing status as one of the Premier League’s best-ever players regardless.
This emphatic victory sees City leapfrog Leicester back into second place, where they are a whopping 14 points behind the Reds. While the defending champions have stumbled spectacularly as life after influential captain Vincent Kompany began in August, Jurgen Klopp’s men haven’t lost in the Premier League. It’s unlikely to change anytime soon.