ASTON VILLA 1, MAN CITY 6
Sergio Aguero continues to smash goalscoring records with another two in six-hitting Manchester City’s emphatic victory at Aston Villa.
This time the Argentine’s hat-trick enabled him to equal and then surpass Thierry Henry’s record of 175 Premier League goals, the most by a foreign players.
Not only that but Aguero also beat Alan Shearer’s record of 11 Premier League hat-tricks which he had been level with. It was his 16th in all competitions for City.
Aguero said: “I am so happy for the record, but thank you to my team mates who help me.
“I want to keep scoring more goals but it depends on my team-mates.”
Aguero, now with 177 Premier League goals was asked whether he had Alan Shearer’s all-time record of 260 in his sights.
“I will try, but he has too many goals so I don’t know,” he said.Embed from Getty Images
There was praise from City manager Pep Guardiola who described it as an “honour” to witness the record being broken.
But when asked if he is the best striker of all-time, his reply was he bestowed that on Lionel Messi.
And when questioned about him not being a striker, he quipped: “The best in Messi whether number nine, 10, 11, four or six.
“Sergio is one of the best ever and what he has achieved is incredible. And it is not just over one season, but many.
“There has been many incredible players in the history of the Premier League and he is one of them. He also makes the Premier League better.”
While Aguero’s achievements were lauded, Riyad Mahrez scored twice and Gabriel Jesus also found the net as City turned on the style in the Midlands.
Though Liverpool look set to wrestle the Premier League title away from Manchester, City produced a display as dazzling as in the last two season when they were crowned champions
And Villa manager Dean Smith described the defeat as a “chastening experience” saying they were the architects of their own misfortune through their awful defending.
City made six changes from their midweek Carabao Cup derby win against City.
Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne, Benjamin Mendy, Mahrez and Fernandinho were the five survivors.
Winning recalls were Ederson, John Stones and Joao Cancelo at the back, David Silva in midfield along with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up top.
The players to step down were Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.
After an uneventful opening, City took an 18th minute lead from their first meaningful attack.
When Mahrez received the ball on the right, there was imminent threat only for the winger to cut in-between three opponents before beating goalkeeper Orjan Nyland at the near post with a low shot.
The celebrations were delayed for a VAR check for a possible offside before Mahrez’s eighth goal of the season was confirmed.
It was soon goal number nine for Mahez as six minutes later he made it 2-0 after further haphazard defending by Villa who were caught trying to usher the ball out of play for a goalkick.
Aguero cut the ball back, Villa debutant Danny Drinkwater dispossessed in the penalty area allowing Mahrez to rifle home another shot.
It was soon three goals in 10 minutes as Aguero scored his record-equalling goal.
De Bruyne provided the assist and Aguero advanced towards goal and from the edge of the penalty area fired high past Nyland.
It was more than some suffering Villa fans could bear to watch as they headed for the exit less than half an hour into the match.
It might have got worse for Villa as City came close to a fourth goal, Aguero firing just over and David Silva bending a free kick over the defensive wall and agonisingly wide.
It was merely postponing the inevitable as City scored a fourth in stoppage time.
De Bruyne provided his second assist of the game whipping in a terrific cross from the right for Jesus to convert from inside the six-yard box.
City were not finished and scored a fifth in the 57th minute as Aguero netted his record breaking goal.
David Silva provided the assist to Aguero who, surrounded by Villa players, wriggled free before bending in a shot low to the left of Nyland, signalling a further exodus of home fans.
That goal signalled a double change for City as Fernandinho and De Bruyne made way for Otamendi and Phil Foden.
It didn’t interrupt City’s flow as Aguero had a goalbound shot blocked while Jesus’ follow-up effort was superbly saved by Nyland.
City made their final change with 20 minutes left when Rodrigo was replaced by Gundogan.
One short passing move showed what City are all about but they were de nied a perfect finish when Jesus’ shot was superbly saved by Nyland.
Jesus moments later fired over as they came tantalisingly close to a sixth goal.
It was no surprise when City scored again nine minutes from time when Aguero completed his treble.
Villa right back Kortney Hause was caught in possession by Mahrez who turned provider releasing Aguero who smashed home an unstoppable shot.
Villa fans belatedly had something to cheer – not many were still in the ground – when they won a last-minute penalty following Gundogan’s trip on Trezeguet with Anwar El Ghazi scoring from 12 yards, the last kick of the match as there was not time for the game to kick off again.
The goal barely registered because City were already home and dry on an unforgettable day for Aguero.