Sergio Aguero

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Super sub Aguero saves Man City at Sheffield United

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Chris Wilder almost orchestrated another beautiful point Sheffield United, only to see Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero combine to produce a 1-0 win for Manchester City at Bramall Lane on Tuesday.

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City moves 13 points back of Liverpool, who have two matches-in-hand, while the host Blades are seventh with 33 points.

Man City out-attempted the Blades by an 18-4 margin, produced three big chances to United’s one.


Three things we learned

1. Aguero rescues win and improves Golden Boot credentials: The Argentine might turn 32 in June, but is showing no signs of slowing down. Sure his run and back post tap-in weren’t the most scintillating of his goals, but he’s onto 16 league goals. That’s one shy of Jamie Vardy‘s league lead, and right now you’d bet on him to snare a second Premier League Golden Boot.

2. Henderson aided by VAR: Gabriel Jesus‘ penalty was abject, but it certainly helped Dean Henderson that he was off his line early in the run-up to save. Video Assistant Referee somehow missed the offense, or there’s an explanation beyond our understanding. Pep Guardiola sure is livid.

3. De Bruyne continues record pursuit: Man City’s playmaker assisted Aguero’s goal was a terrific cross to give him 15 league assists this season. He needs six in the final 14 league outings of the season to break Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20.

Man of the Match: We’ll give it to Aymeric Laporte, whose fifth appearance of the league season was his first since Aug. 31. The long injury absence stung City deeply; With Laporte on the pitch, City improves to 4W-1D with three clean sheets.


Fernandinho cut out an early Blades challenge, and the next notable moment came as Muhamed Besic bladed the newly-returned Aymeric Laporte to only a yellow card.

Raheem Sterling stole a ball off Chris Basham and led a charge that led to a fine Dean Henderson save in the 20th.

Riyad Mahrez won a straight-forward penalty when Basham chopped him down in the 35th minute, Henderson bailing him out with a save on Gabriel Jesus’ tepid attempt.

Henderson was off his line, but VAR did not have a look.

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Jesus nodded a shot to Henderson in the 62nd, the Blades’ Lys Mousset then nearly backheeling an opener on the ensuing bit of possession.

Aguero was given a rest to start the game, but Guardiola plugged him into the match and got an equalizer when John Egan couldn’t reach a terrific De Bruyne cross.

Man City finding record form in historic race… to second

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Last season saw Liverpool become perhaps the hardest-luck second-place team in soccer history, millimeters and a referee’s watch stopping a club deserving of a title.

While the points might not be there for the runners-up this go-round, we’ve got a case of turnabout being fair play for the sky blue side of Manchester.

Pep Guardiola‘s Man City is on pace for 81 points, a total worthy of a title winner as recently as Leicester City’s 2015/16 miracle run.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

City served a reminder of its potency on Sunday when it dialed up six goals to down Aston Villa with ease and without Raheem Sterling. It’s the 19th time in 22 matches that City has scored multiple goals, putting them on pace to break their own Premier League record for goals in a season.

City scored 106 times in their remarkable 2017/18 season, and Sunday’s show puts them on track for 107. And Pep Guardiola’s men still face the Premier League’s four worst defenses, three of those fixtures coming at the Etihad Stadium.

Individually, Sergio Aguero is breaking records held by names like Henry and Shearer, and Kevin De Bruyne may take down another of Henry’s nearly-immortal marks.

Perhaps because City and Liverpool have been so wonderful the past two seasons, we’re overlooking both.

The numbers people say so.

FiveThirtyEight says City remains the second-best team in the world — yes, the world — despite its relative table problems. The two-time reigning PL champs are closer to passing Liverpool than they are to dipping beind third place Bayern Munich (who, it must be noted, is not leading its league).

While the Reds are unbeaten and the reigning Champions League winners, City sits second despite long absences for arguably their most important tactical player of two seasons ago (Leroy Sane) and last season (Aymeric Laporte).

They’ve also been unlucky on the whole this season, according to the expected goals table, and have scored 12 more goals than anyone else in the league (No. 2 Liverpool has played one less match).

In case you’re wondering, the PL has five teams in the model’s Top 20. Chelsea (9th), Manchester United (12th), Tottenham Hotspur (14th), and Leicester City (16th) are bossing the numbers game in Europe. Norwich City is the lowest, at 125th, joining Newcastle (104th) and Aston Villa (109th) as the only PL teams outside the Top 100.

Liverpool is carving its name in history this season, and we’ll doubtlessly spend the better part of the next four months singing their deserved praises. Quietly, however, City may be writing almost as impressive a tale and — perhaps, presuming a healthy-enough Laporte — one that ends on May 30 in Turkey.

Pep on record-collecting Aguero: ‘He’s a legend and legends rise’

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Sergio Aguero had a hand in four of six Manchester City goals in a 6-1 blowout of Aston Villa on Sunday.

The performance etched his name twice more in the Premier League record books, as he became the league’s all-time leading foreign-born scorer (177) and hat trick hero (12).

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Those records were held by Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer, which is nice.

Aguero reacted with humility to the achievement, but Pep Guardiola sang the praises of his Argentine mega finisher.

“He’s a legend and legends rise tonight. Thierry Henry is one most incredible players to play in this league and he will be proud that Sergio is the guy who breaks his record. He was a legend and Sergio is the same. To score this amount of goals means you have done for many years a lot of good things. He’s been consistent for many years and so we are proud of him.

“He is the most incredible person. You cannot achieve this without being a guy who loves to play football.”

Aguero is tied with Frank Lampard for the fourth-most goals in league history with 177, both 10 behind Andy Cole. Next is Wayne Rooney with 208 and Alan Shearer’s absurd 260. It seems likely Aguero will finish his time in England in third and it could happen this season.

Aguero’s .69 goals per game is higher than every player to score 100 Premier League goals, though Henry (.68) and contemporary Harry Kane (.68) are just behind.

Unprecedented! Aguero ‘so happy’ to set Premier League hat trick record

Sergio Aguero breaks Premier League hat trick record
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
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Manchester City superstar Sergio Aguero set two Premier League records in Sunday’s 6-1 demolition of Aston Villa at Villa Park.

First, Aguero’s second goal of the day made him the highest-scoring non-Englishman in league history.

He then added his 177th Premier League goal to push him past legendary striker Alan Shearer for the league’s most hat tricks.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It was a star show from Aguero, who also registered an assist.

“I’m so happy for the record. I thank my teammates because they helped me these nine years,” Aguero said when asked about the record, adding that he’s not ruling out the 74 more goals needed to catch Alan Shearer’s all-time PL record.

“I will try. He has too many goals so I don’t know, but maybe I will try.”

David Silva set up Aguero’s second, the 21st time he’s assisted the Argentine. That breaks a three-way tie with two pairs to seat Silva and Aguero behind just Frank Lampard‘s 24 assists to Didier Drogba in Premier League history.

Here are the goals that set the new standards.

Aguero rewrites record book as Man City unloads on Aston Villa

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Manchester City took over second place in the Premier League with an emphatic 6-1 beating of Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero wrote a new Premier League record with his 12th hat trick, breaking Alan Shearer’s two-decade old record. He also became the all-time leader in goals for a foreign-born player. Aguero added an assist, because why not?

Riyad Mahrez scored a brace, Kevin De Bruyne supplied a pair of assists, and Gabriel Jesus also scored as the two-time reigning league champs opened up a four-goal halftime lead.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ilkay Gundogan gave away a needless penalty to Trezeguet in stoppage time. Anwar El Ghazi blasted his effort home for the consolation.

City’s 47 points are 14 back of leaders Liverpool, who have a match-in-hand.

Villa is in the Bottom Three with 21 points, its minus-15 goal differential second worst in the league.


Three things we learned

1. City piling up numbers as sensational Aguero sets standard: Sergio Aguero’s two goals gave him a new Premier League record. His 175 goals are the most scored by a non-English player in league history, and it’s fitting that it came off a David Silva assist. That helped is Silva’s 137th for the club.

Then he upped the ante, scoring his 12th Premier League hat trick. No one’s done that.

2. History-chasing De Bruyne puts on show: Kevin De Bruyne’s .636 assists per league match this season have him well on his way to breaking Thierry Henry’s PL single season assist record. KDB has 14, meaning at current pace he’ll tie or break the record even if he misses four matches.

This pass to meet Gabriel Jesus’ run was just stupid.

3. Nightmare debut for Drinkwater: Danny Drinkwater has a new claret shirt after his loan to Burnley changed to a loan to Aston Villa, but the Chelsea man is still in relegation form. Drinkwater was worked by Mahrez for City’s first goal and then played with lower league speed in failing to clear danger on the second. Honestly, the embattled midfielder could’ve been at fault for a third before the match was 25 minutes old.

Man of the Match: A-guer-o.


City was ready to pounce on any mistakes from Moment No. 1, and Mahrez didn’t need much room to make it 1-0.

The Algerian danced past Danny Drinkwater and then used Kortney Hause as a screen to fire a low shot inside the near post.

Mahrez got his second after some real industry from Aguero on the left. The Argentine pushed a ball off the end line and back into the mixer. Both David Silva and Gabriel Jesus got a piece of the ball en route to Mahrez’s finish.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Jesus turned a terrific Mendy pass to rip a shot over the bar in the 26th.

Aguero made it 3-0 when Villa’s back line gave him acres of space to rip a shot that Nyland could only slow on its journey to the back of the net.

Aguero and David Silva each could’ve made it four before the 37 minute mark, the latter curling his free kick around the near post.

Jesus hit the scoreboard off a fantastic and acute pass from De Bruyne, the latest example of the latter’s pure wizardry.

Aguero collected a giveaway and clinically finished past Nyland for 6-0 in the 82nd. It was his 16th hat trick for City.