Hat-trick hero Sergio Aguero helps Manchester City destroy Chelsea

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Sergio Aguero equalled the record of Premier League hat-tricks held by Alan Shearer against Chelsea.

Manchester City put in a stunning performance to thrash Chelsea 6-0 on Sunday, and it came thanks to an historic day from their star striker.

Sergio Aguero scored another hat-trick, his 11th in the Premier League – which now puts him level with Alan Shearer in that particular tally. Just as sweet a milestone, if not sweeter, was that his three goals made him City’s highest-ever league goalscorer.

Here’s a closer look at Aguero’s display.

KEY STATS

Goals – 3

Shots – 6

Shots on target – 3

Dribbles – 2

Passing Accuracy – 89%

Touches – 36

30-SECOND REPORT

Hat-trick against Arsenal last week. Hat-trick against Chelsea here. Aguero is in unstoppable form at the moment, and because of that, so are his team. No one would have expected City to host Chelsea and win 6-0. But thanks to their star striker, that’s what happened, as the Argentine scored a peach, a tap-in, and a penalty to lead his side to victory.

Meanwhile, the hat-trick adds a delicious sub-plot to the title race. Aguero is now level with Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah atop the league goalscoring charts. Which player, and team, is going to come out on top?

GOT RIGHT

Aguero’s second was a great strike, but his first underlined the key aspect of his game: he’s arguably the greatest goal-poacher in world football at the moment. Simple finishes aren’t always easy – more on that later – but just the fact that he’s able to get in position for them, despite his reputation commanding added defensive attention, is remarkable.

The striker actually had the fewest touches of any player in City’s starting XI, only 36. And yet he emerged three goals. His ability to find space in the box is incomparable.

GOT WRONG

Aguero’s only mistake all game was a glaring one. How did he miss an open goal from two yards out?

It was a collector’s item made even more redundant by what came after, which included a header he thumped against the bar in the second half.

Could have scored five, only managed three. Not Aguero’s greatest performance, then?

VERDICT

The best big-game player in the Premier League? The best player, period? The superlatives are going to keep flowing for Aguero and well they should. Consecutive hat-tricks in games against the ‘Big Six’ is an incredible feat, even more so when the two games are only a week apart.

His inexplicable first-half miss is the only reason this performance hasn’t rated a perfect 10. Although that only serves as a reminder that he could easily have turned this hat-trick into a five-goal display.

RATING: 9/10

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Man City thrash Chelsea 6-0 to go top of Premier League

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Sergio Aguero scored a record-equalling hat-trick as Manchester City powered back to the top of the Premier League with a sensational 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea.

The prolific Argentinian joined Alan Shearer on 11 Premier League trebles as the champions returned to their ruthless best in a one-sided encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

Most of the damage came in a whirlwind opening 25 minutes, with Aguero hitting his first two of the afternoon between strikes from Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan.

That established Aguero as City’s record league goalscorer, surpassing the 158 goals of Eric Brook and Tommy Johnson, and he later extended his tally to 160 by completing his treble from the spot.

Sterling put the seal on the rout by adding his second 10 minutes from time.

Aguero should even have had more, having missed a sitter in the early stages and headed against bar on a dismal afternoon for Chelsea, whose manager Maurizio Sarri headed straight down the tunnel at full-time.

While City responded in the perfect manner to Liverpool’s victory on Saturday, Chelsea looked far from the top-four side they aspire to be. The loss left them outside the Champions League places and the pressure is mounting on manager Sarri.

It was Chelsea’s heaviest defeat since losing 7-0 to Nottingham Forest in 1991.

It began badly as they were caught napping after just four minutes. Kevin De Bruyne released Bernardo Silva down the right with a cleverly-taken free-kick and the Portuguese cut back for Sterling to smash home.

Aguero should have doubled the lead almost immediately but remarkably missed from two yards. Silva had weaved through the area to set up a gilt-edged opportunity but the Argentinian uncharacteristically poked wide.

Manager Pep Guardiola sank to his knees in frustration but he was soon celebrating as Aguero made amends in sensational fashion. The striker played a one-two with Oleksandr Zinchenko outside the area and then unleashed a ferocious shot that flew in from 25 yards.

Aguero’s second was gifted to him. David Luiz headed clear but Ross Barkley inexplicably headed back into the danger area. Aguero was lurking in the six-yard box and punished the former Everton midfielder with a sharp turn and shot.

Chelsea hardly had time to take stock before they conceded again, with Gundogan slotting home a neat shot from the edge after a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger.

City eased off for the remainder of the first half, and Gonzalo Higuain even managed to test Ederson with a sharp volley, but the hosts clicked back into gear after the break.

Aguero was inches away from completing his 15th City hat-trick when he headed against the woodwork from a De Bruyne cross. He did not have to wait much longer, however, as Sterling was felled in the box by Cesar Azpilicueta. Aguero stepped up and sent Kepa Arrizabalaga the wrong way from the spot.

There seemed to be no let up from City with De Bruyne firing a free-kick at Kepa and Aguero shooting into the side-netting.

Sterling wrapped up a brilliant afternoon’s work after substitute David Silva opened up the Chelsea defence yet again and Zinchenko picked out the England international.

City supporters goaded Chelsea by telling them to bring Jose Mourinho back and, after such a hammering, it may not be long before Stamford Bridge managerial speculation is ramped up again.

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Claude Puel welcomes interest in James Maddison but insists player should stay at Leicester

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James Maddison has impressed since stepping up from the Championship.

Boss Claude Puel has welcomed Tottenham’s interest in James Maddison because it proves his methods are working – but insists he should stay at Leicester.

Spurs hold a long-standing interest in the midfielder and have again been linked with a summer move.

Maddison is in his first season at Leicester after joining from Norwich for £24million and has five goals in 25 games, earning a senior England call in October.

Leicester face Spurs at Wembley on Sunday and Puel feels interest in his players compliments the Foxes.

He said: “It’s a good feeling because if we play with poor performances and no possibility to develop players then other clubs wouldn’t be interested.

Puel's decision to take off midfielder Maddison against United was jeered by some sections of the home fans.

Puel’s decision to take off midfielder Maddison against United was jeered by some sections of the home fans.

“It shows we’re developing our players, not just young ones – this is a good thing.

“Of course he is better off here – not just this player. Interest from other clubs means they are showing their quality. But he’s still got a lot to learn and room to develop. This is the right place to work.

“Lots of players in our club are attracting interest from other clubs. This is a good feeling because they have time to develop their work and themselves.

“Leicester is a good club and we are showing the project we are trying to put in place.”

Maddison penned a five-year contract when he moved to the King Power Stadium in June.

But Puel was hesitant to stay the Foxes would be ready to give him a bumper new deal to keep him.

“This player is just starting his career in the Premier League so he needs to keep focus and concentration,” he added.

Puel was jeered for substituting Maddison in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United and he has taken him off in eight of the last 10 games.

But the Frenchman insisted the 22-year-old is not the complete player and needs to improve.

He said: “For young players, they need to show good consistency in games for 90 minutes. Maddison is a young player and has not shown consistency all the time.

“It’s normal for young players. At the beginning of the season he was more clinical and needs to find this edge again.

“It’s not easy for young players to keep the same level of consistency and concentration all the time. They have possibilities to make mistakes because we are patient with them.”

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