Sergio Aguero continued to break records for Manchester City as he helped himself to half the goals as the blues battered Aston Villa at Villa Park. City were already two goals ahead thanks to a brace from Riyad Mahrez when Aguero scored his first, and he claimed Alan Shearer’s record of most Premier League hat-tricks after Gabriel Jesus had also scored for the blues.
City needed the three points to try and keep some of the pressure on leaders Liverpool, and with Leicester only managing to draw at home to Southampton, it was a perfect opportunity for City to take second spot in the league.
Manager Pep Guardiola again tinkered with his team following the midweek win over United, with Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva dropping to the bench and Aguero restored to the starting line-up alongside Jesus, while Joao Cancelo got the nod over Kyle Walker at right back.
The start of the match gave no indication of the goal-fest that was to arrive, with Villa packing the midfield and making the space tight for the blues to work in, and the home side showed their intent in the first seconds of the match, but that only proved to be a false hope for the home supporters.
Mahrez was the first to breach the Villa defence, with the Algerian dinking forward before virtually passing the ball into the goal, beating the keeper at his near post. That was after just 18 minutes on the clock and when his second arrived six minutes later, the worst was being feared by Villa. Aguero looked to have lost the ball, but somehow hooked his foot around it to play it back into the danger zone. Danny Drinkwater, making his debut for Villa, tried to control, but David Silva made a swift challenge and the ball fell to the grateful Mahrez who fired home.
And Villa fans began looking at the exits four minutes later when Aguero made it three. Released by de Bruyne, the Argentine looked up and, with Tyrone Mings refusing to make a challenge, fired home from outside the penalty area to make it 3-0 before the half hour mark. That goal put him level with Thierry Henry for the most goals scored by a non-English player in the Premier League and one more would take him past the Frenchman.
But it was his strike partner Jesus who would get the next goal as de Bruyne again showed why he is the best midfielder in the Premier League by a mile. The Belgian charged forward and played an inch perfect pass to the Brazilian, who hit the ball home with a first-time finish. The scoreline looked harsh on Villa, but when you consider that City had other opportunities to score, Villa were lucky it was only four.
There’s been a fear this season that when City have a decent number of goals, they take their foot off the gas. However, the blues were hungry and looked to increase the lead wherever possible as they launched a full out attack on the Villa goal. Aguero got his second and City’s fifth on 58 minutes which took him beyond Henry’s total and to within one goal of Shearer’s all-time hat-trick record. The Argentine drove forward and fired home from the edge of the box to compound Villa’s day and completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time.
With absolutely no danger when the Villa defence decided to pass the ball to Mahrez. The Algerian quickly found Aguero in acres of space and scored his 12th Premier League hattrick, 177th Premier League goal and 249th in all competitions for City.
But there was still time to give Ederson something to do. In the last minute, substitute Ilkay Gundogan committed a foul in the box, and after the standard VAR check, Anwar el Ghazi fired home a consolation for the home and barely celebrated in front of those that had stayed to watch.
It was another masterclass by City, who will no doubt still be hoping for a major sip up from Liverpool in the coming weeks.
Final Score: Aston Villa 1-6 Manchester City