Manchester City 5-1 Leicester City: Sergio Aguero's four-goal haul seals emphatic win
By Ron Walker
Last Updated: 11/02/18 9:52am
Sergio Aguero's four-goal second-half haul saw Manchester City demolish Leicester City 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.
Raheem Sterling put the hosts ahead after barely two minutes from Kevin De Bruyne's delightful cross, but their dominance counted for little once Jamie Vardy intercepted Nicolas Otamendi's wayward pass and slotted in an equaliser.
The second half began just like the first when Aguero struck from close-range within three minutes and soon added another, both from De Bruyne deliveries, before sealing his hat-trick from a Kasper Schmeichel error and blasting in a late fourth off the crossbar.
Man City's 16-point end-of-day lead at the top of the Premier League is the largest of any side since April 2013, while Leicester have now gone five games without a win and are only a point ahead of ninth-placed Everton.
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Otamendi (6), Laporte (6), Zinchenko (6), De Bruyne (9), Gundongan (7), Fernandinho (7), B Silva (7), Aguero (9), Sterling (8).
Subs: Danilo (6), Foden (N/A), Stones (N/A).
Leicester: Schmeichel (4), Maguire (4), Dragovic (5), Fuchs (4), Albrighton (5), A Silva (5), James (5), Ndidi (5), Chilwell (4), Vardy (6), Diabate (5).
Subs: Simpson (5), Mahrez (5), Iheanacho (5).
Man of the match: Sergio Aguero
The pre-match talk had been dominated by Riyad Mahrez, who was named among the substitutes by Claude Puel after ending his 10-day strike, and he was introduced after half-time to applause from both ends - but the game was long gone by then.
In fact, it had barely kicked off when Leicester were undone by De Bruyne's perfect deep cross which Sterling turned home.
But despite camping in the Leicester half, Man City were stung on the break when Vardy held off two despairing tackles and slotted in an equaliser.
Riyad Mahrez was left on the bench by Claude Puel who made two changes, bringing in Matty James and Ben Chilwell.
Pep Guardiola also made two alterations from last weekend's draw at Burnley, bringing in Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
That earned the Foxes a foothold in the game, but after half-time Manchester City stepped up their level and De Bruyne side-footed an assist even better than his first to pick out Aguero in a crowded area, meaning the Argentine has now scored in seven straight home games for the first time in his Manchester City career.
He and the Belgian were at it again five minutes later as De Bruyne played him in on the right, and Schmeichel got less on his driven shot than he should have.
But the goalkeeper had worse to follow when he passed straight to Aguero under no pressure in the closing stages, and with a typically composed chip he sealed his hat-trick.
The hosts finished off an emphatic win as Aguero grabbed a fourth with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box, which sailed over Schmeichel and cannoned in off the crossbar.
• Both of Man City's two quickest goals in the Premier League this season have been scored by Raheem Sterling (38 seconds v Watford, 125 seconds v Leicester City).
• This was the third time Aguero has scored 4+ goals in a single Premier League match, more than any other player in the competition's history.
• Aguero is the fourth player to score 20+ goals in four consecutive Premier League campaigns - after Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry (five) and Harry Kane.
• Jamie Vardy is the first ever player to score against each of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Spurs in the same Premier League season.
Man of the match - Sergio Aguero
It's difficult to think that barely a year ago it looked like Aguero was never going to be a Guardiola favourite, because his display - as it has been so many times at the Etihad this season - was electric, especially after half-time.
Aguero may have been handed his hat-trick strike but his four-goal tally was down to his own making, with a little help from De Bruyne.
He is now level with Mohamed Salah on 21 Premier League goals for the season, and only two behind top scorer Harry Kane in the running for the Golden Boot.
Man City now go to Basel on Tuesday in their Champions League last-16 first leg clash, while Leicester host Sheffield United on Friday evening in the FA Cup fifth round.