Aguero kicks on as Hud­der­s­field are hit for six by ram­pant City

Ar­gen­tine the hat-trick hero as Ter­ri­ers are blown away by cham­pi­ons

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - Jamie Jack­son

Manch­ester City 6 Agüero 25, 35, 75, Gabriel Je­sus 31, Silva 48, Kon­golo 84 og. Hud­der­s­field Town 1 Stankovic 43

Kevin De Bruyne’s con­va­les­cence from his se­ri­ous knee in­jury be­gan with him wit­ness­ing an­other mes­meric Manch­ester City per­for­mance.

On days likes these, the sense is Pep Guardi­ola’s finely tuned team can do pre­cisely what they wish, when they wish: yes­ter­day it was to trounce Hud­der­s­field Town 6-1.

A dis­play of near-per­fec­tion fea­tured the su­perb Ben­jamin Mendy and was crowned by Ser­gio Agüero’s hat-trick – the lethal marks­man now has 14 goals in his last eight home league ap­pear­ances.

Guardi­ola’s XI had caused some head-scratch­ing re­gard­ing the for­ma­tion. For Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez and Ra­heem Ster­ling, who were all re­place­ments, Vin­cent Kom­pany, David Silva and Gabriel Je­sus were se­lected.

Back three

With John Stones, Aymeric La­porte and Mendy the other cho­sen recog­nised de­fend­ers this sug­gested a back three and so it proved.

David Wag­ner also made three changes from Town’s open­ing week­end de­feat at Chelsea. In came Jon Gorenc Stankovic, Tommy Smith and Ab­del­hamid Sabiri as out went Mathias Jør­gensen, Jonathan Hogg and Aaron Mooy in Town’s 3-5-1-1.

Twenty three min­utes had passed be­fore Wag­ner’s men threat­ened. Steve Mounie passed the ball back to Stankovic but his 20-yard at­tempt bal­looned over.

There was no such di­rec­tion is­sue for Eder­son from the re­sult­ing goal-kick. The Brazil­ian struck a sweet 70-yard pass to the rov­ing Agüero and, as Ben Hamer ad­vanced, he found him­self the vic­tim of a cute lob and that was 1-0.

Now Gabriel Je­sus, part­ner­ing Agüero, was about to join the Ar­gen­tinean on the score­sheet.

Once more Mendy drove at Hud­der­s­field. When a pass to Je­sus was re­turned the ball ric­o­cheted from the French­man back to No33 and he made it 2-0.

Mendy was also the man be­hind City’s third.

This time he sent in a skid­ding cross that Hamer spilled and there was Agüero to add his sec­ond and the cham­pi­ons’ third.

This came on 35 min­utes, which meant that three strikes in a 10-minute burst had surely put Town in dam­age lim­i­ta­tion ter­ri­tory. Ex­cept, no: City switched off from a Philip Billing header, Mounie headed on, and Stankovic got ahead of Stones to force home.

Re­stored

Soon af­ter the break, though, David Silva re­stored the three-goal cush­ion.

A cross-field run from the ex­cel­lent Agüero ended in him win­ning a free-kick. Silva danced for­ward and bent a 20-yard peach past Hamer.

At just past the hour mark Mahrez re­placed the im­pres­sive Silva for his home de­but. This il­lus­trated the depth of Guardi­ola’s squad, par­tic­u­larly as Ster­ling, Leroy Sané, Walker, Ni­colás Ota­mendi and Phil Fo­den re­mained on the bench.

City con­tin­ued to press to the end. Agüero drew an­other stop from Hamer. Je­sus – not for a first time – raced back to dis­pos­sess and ini­ti­ate an­other at­tack, while Mahrez flew along the right to send Town scur­ry­ing.

Then came Aguero’s hat-trick.

Mendy capped his best City dis­play with a ball the striker hit first-time past Hamer and Sané forced City’s sixth by forc­ing the No1 to de­flect the ball on to the un­for­tu­nate Ter­ence Kon­golo and into the net.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: MARTIN RICKETT/PA

Manch­ester City’s Ser­gio Aguero cel­e­brates his hat-trick goal against Hud­der­s­field.

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