Record-breaking Aguero stars as City destroy Villa to go second
Premier League, Villa Park – Aston Villa 1 (El Ghazi 90) Manchester City 6 (Mahrez 18 24, Aguero 28 57 81, Jesus 45)
Sergio Aguero surpassed Thierry Henry as the highest scoring overseas player in Premier League history as his hat-trick helped Manchester City to a 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa.
Villa debutant Danny Drinkwater endured a nightmare start to life at his new club, allowing Riyad Mahrez to skip past him all too easily in the 18th minute as the Algerian gave City the lead, before gifting his former Leicester team-mate the chance to make it two six minutes later, which was clinically converted.
More atrocious defending from Villa left space for Aguero to score his 175th Premier League goal in the 28th minute, before Kevin De Bruyne fired in a superb centre for Gabriel Jesus to make it four on the stroke of half time.
Aguero then netted 12 minutes into the second half to move clear of Henry, before completing his 12th Premier League hat-trick, more than any other player, late on to move level with Frank Lampard in the all-time goalscoring list.
Anwar El Ghazi’s stoppage time penalty barely raised a whisper from the mostly departed Villa fans as merciless City moved into second and showed they are still, Liverpool aside, streets ahead of the rest.
Manchester City celebrate v Aston VillaGetty Images
Another, rather successful, Pep experiment. De Bruyne insisted that City’s gameplan in their fine 3-1 victory at Old Trafford in midweek, where Guardiola elected to not field a recognised striker, took just 15 minutes to prepare. From none to two up front for the first time in almost 18 months at Villa Park, with even more success. Surely this took some planning? Even with only one central defender in the pitch, City never looked troubled, with their relentless attacks too hot too handle. What next from Pep? Fernandinho up front? Would probably work, in fairness.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sergio Aguero. Who else? There were several candidates in the City ranks, but on a special day for the Argentine, his clinical finishing, once more, sees him pick up the award. Whether it is part of a front two or on his own, there are few marksman like Aguero left, and the Premier League will be a poorer place when he does decide it is time to return to his homeland.
Aston Villa: Nyland 3, Konsa 4, Mings 4, Hause 4, Elmohamady 4, Douglas Luiz 3, Drinkwater 3, Hourihane 5, Taylor 4, Grealish 6, El Ghazi 4... Subs: Marvelous 5, Trezeguet 6, Lansbury.
18’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Man City (Mahrez). Out of nothing Riyad Mahrez fires City into the lead. VAR check done, for a potential offside on Aguero in the build-up, and the goal stands. Mahrez picked the ball up on the right, drove at the Villa backline, which parted like the Red Sea, allowing Mahrez time to drill into the net. Incredibly simple goal.
24’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-2 Man City (Mahrez). Same man again! Mistake (again) from Drinkwater as Mahrez makes it two! Villa, Villa, Villa. Masters of their own downfall here. Aguero made the run into the box, overran it, but somehow was allowed to hook the ball back into play, Drinkwater then decided to try and turn in the box, he was dispossessed and Mahrez lashed home the loose ball.
Riyad Mahrez celebrates his goal for Manchester CityGetty Images
28’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-3 Man City (Aguero). This really could be anything as Aguero makes it three! So easy for the visitors. De Bruyne skips past Drinkwater, who is having a nightmare, feeds Aguero, who carries the ball, unchallenged, to the edge of the box, before rifling into the top corner. Atrocious defending from Villa, but ruthless from City.
39’ - CLOSE! The travelling City fans thought it was in, but David Silva's brilliant free-kick curled just past the post.
45+1’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-4 Man City (Jesus). Incredible pass from De Bruyne as Jesus makes it four!
57’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-5 Man City (Aguero). Aguero is now out on his own as the top goalscoring foreign player as he makes it five. Just superb. David Silva with the pass, Aguero cuts inside, onto his right, waits for the right moment, and slots home. Clinical.
65’ - OFF THE LINE! Almost six for City as David Silva is denied by Nyland with his feet, before Jesus's rebound is hooked off the line by Mings!
79’ - MISS! Somehow the ball finds its way to Jesus at the back post, he looks certain to make it six, but fires over!
81’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 0-6 Man City (Aguero). Hat-trick for Aguero as he makes it six. Dreadful from Kortney Hause as he is dispossessed by Mahrez, who feeds Aguero, with the Argentine given all the time in the world to complete his treble.
90+1’ - GOAL! Aston Villa 1-6 Man City (El Ghazi). El Ghazi rifles home the penalty, awarded after Gundogan fells Trezeguet, to give Villa a consolation.
- David Silva has now assisted 21 of Sergio Agüero's Premier League goals - only Frank Lampard (24 for Didier Drogba) has set up a teammate more in the competition's history.
- Kevin De Bruyne (15) is one of three Premier League players to assist 10 goals in all competitions this season, plus Riyad Mahrez (11), Trent Alexander-Arnold (10).
- Mahrez has scored as many PL goals this season as last season (7).
- Mahrez is the only PL player to have both scored and assisted at least 20 goals in all comps since the start of last season
- Manchester City have made 64 starting line-up changes in the Premier League this season; 11 more than any other team. In fact, the Citizens are the only side yet to name an unchanged starting XI.