Aguero leads City stam­pede to top

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT -

MANCH­ESTER City stormed to the top of the Pre­mier League as Ser­gio Aguero’s hat­trick in­spired a 6-0 de­mo­li­tion of Wat­ford, while Philippe Coutinho’s re­turn couldn’t lift Liver­pool in a 1-1 draw against Burn­ley.

With pre­vi­ous lead­ers Manch­ester United not in ac­tion un­til an overnight clash with Ever­ton, City had a chance to move three points clear of their ti­tle ri­vals.

Aguero en­sured they did just that as the Ar­gen­tine for­ward main­tained his mas­tery of Wat­ford at Vicarage Road.

Pep Guardi­ola’s side took the lead in the 27th minute when Aguero headed in from Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick for his sev­enth goal in five games against the Hor­nets.

Aguero wasn’t fin­ished in­flict­ing pain on Marco Silva’s men and he struck again four min­utes later, tap­ping in af­ter Wat­ford goal­keeper Heurelho Gomes couldn’t hold David Silva’s cross-shot.

Hav­ing notched his fifth goal of the sea­son, Aguero turned provider in the 38th minute, slip­ping in Gabriel Je­sus for a non­cha­lant fin­ish.

It was City’s 12th goal of a mem­o­rable week that also in­cluded a 5-0 thrash­ing of Liver­pool and a 4-0 win at Feyeno­ord.

Ni­co­las Ota­mendi added to that tally when he headed in the fourth from Silva’s cross in the 63rd minute be­fore Aguero com­pleted his 10th City tre­ble with nine min­utes left.

There was still time for Ra­heem Ster­ling to win and con­vert an 89th-minute penalty to cap City’s top dis­play.

At An­field, with Sa­dio Mane sus­pended, Brazil­ian Coutinho made his first Liver­pool start since his failed at­tempt to force a move to Barcelona.

But de­spite his re­turn, Jur­gen Klopp’s team was rocked when Scott Ar­field put Burn­ley in front in the 27th minute.

Liver­pool drew level three min­utes later through Mo­hamed Salah but could not find a win­ner, fin­ish­ing 1-1.

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur failed to win for a third suc­ces­sive league match at Wem­b­ley as Swansea City held on 0-0.

Crys­tal Palace hit a his­toric low as Steven Davis sealed Southamp­ton’s 1-0 win at Sel­hurst Park.

Jamie Vardy res­cued Le­ices­ter City as his sec­ond half penalty se­cured a 1-1 draw at Hud­der­s­field Town, who took the lead through Lau­rent De­poitre in the 47th minute.

Ja­maal Las­celles was New­cas­tle United’s hero again as he clinched a 2-1 win over Stoke City at St James’ Park.

Rafael Benitez’s side took the lead through Chris­tian Atsu and Xher­dan Shaqiri equalised for Stoke.

New­cas­tle cap­tain Las­celles earned the hosts’ third suc­ces­sive vic­tory with a 68th minute header.

West Bromwich Al­bion mid­fielder Gareth Barry equalled the Pre­mier League ap­pear­ance record in a 0-0 draw against West Ham at the Hawthorns. Barry, 36, is now level with Ryan Giggs’s mark of 632 games, hav­ing made his top-flight de­but in 1998.

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