Aguero scores four as five-star Manchester City thrash Leicester
Jamie Vardy cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener but it was the Aguero show in the second half as City got back to winning ways.
Sergio Aguero scored four times as Premier League leaders Manchester City showed Riyad Mahrez what he is missing in a 5-1 thrashing of Leicester.
Mahrez returned as a substitute for Leicester after more than a week in self-imposed exile following the collapse of a move to City but he could do little to stop Pep Guardiola’s rampant side.
Aguero scored all his goals in the second half at the Etihad Stadium, propelling City to a 16-point lead at the top of the table after Jamie Vardy cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s early opener.
The first three City goals were all created by Kevin De Bruyne who, alongside Aguero, was also outstanding.
Mahrez was named on the bench after returning to training on Friday and he could only watch as City raced out of the blocks with Sterling making immediate amends for a glaring miss in the draw at Burnley last week.
The England international contrived to miss from three yards as City dropped two points at Turf Moor but this time made no mistake from a similar distance after just three minutes.
The ever-impressive De Bruyne curled in a dangerous low ball behind the defence and Sterling turned home.
From there it seemed City would assert full control as they dominated possession but they struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Aguero threatened in the area but showed too much of the ball to Christian Fuchs and Leicester, having already warned City of their intention to counter, quickly broke upfield.
Nicolas Otamendi did win the ball back but then lost it again with a sloppy pass and Vardy raced clear, evading a sliding challenge from Ilkay Gundogan in the process.
As he reached the edge of the area he connected with a firm shot and a slight deflection off Aymeric Laporte took it flying past Ederson for an equaliser.
City responded with Bernardo Silva forcing Kasper Schmeichel into action and Fernandinho also shooting at the goalkeeper. De Bruyne brought an even better save out of him after cutting in from the left.
Sterling went close to a second just before the break as he beat Schmeichel only to be denied by a fine block from Aleksandar Dragovic.
City just needed to start applying the final touches and they did so early in the second period, ruthlessly exposing Foxes boss Claude Puel’s decision to switch from a back three to back four.
De Bruyne was again at the heart of their good work, exchanging passes with Sterling and picking out Aguero at the far post for a simple tap-in after 48 minutes.
De Bruyne set up another for Aguero just five minutes later, this time capitalising on a poor clearance from Schmeichel to feed the Argentinian.
That put the hosts in firm command but Puel responded by sending on, to a mixed reception, Mahrez and, to a good hand, former City striker Kelechi Iheanacho.
It was to no avail and Aguero wrapped up victory with two more. He first seized on another bad clearance by Schmeichel to chip home for his hat-trick and then thumped in a long-range shot off the bar in the last minute.