Manch­ester City ‘Leg­end’ Ser­gio Aguero has scor­ing record in his sights

Global Times US Edition - - SPORTS - JONATHAN WHITE

An­other game and an­other match ball for Manch­ester City’s Ser­gio Aguero as the Ar­gentina striker helped him­self to a hat trick on Satur­day as his side went top of the Pre­mier League by de­mol­ish­ing Wat­ford 6-0 at Vicarage Road. Both Aguero and City are in great form. A week ago they beat Liver­pool 5-0, put four past Feyeno­ord without re­ply in the Cham­pi­ons League and then ham­mered the Hor­nets in their own home.

Aguero has scored in each of those games. He got one against Liver­pool and Fey­er­nood be­fore Satur­day’s triple. Even bet­ter, he has also as­sisted strike part­ner Gabriel Je­sus for two goals. A di­rect hand in seven of City’s 15 goals is the kind of re­turn that means Aguero has a strong case for be­ing the first name on the Pep Guardi­ola’s team sheet.

That’s a re­mark­able turn­around for a player that many ex­pected to be sold in the sum­mer. Aguero had been pub­licly ques­tioned by his man­ager and sub­se­quently lost his place as the spear­head of City’s at­tack to Je­sus last sea­son, but his re­sponse to the young Brazilian’s rise to promi­nence has been em­phatic. If you can’t beat them, join them.

On cur­rent form, Guardi­ola has to pick both of his strik­ers and create a for­ma­tion based on two, rather than one, up front. Aguero could have re­sponded very dif­fer­ently to his boss’ de­mand to de­liver more than just the goals he’s brought to City for the last six years, but he has cho­sen to fight for his place and won.

Win­ning is some­thing he is used to. His six years at the club have been the club’s most suc­cess­ful and that’s no co­in­ci­dence. He scored twice on his de­but and hit 30 in that de­but sea­son, with the last of them the goal that won the league in the 95th minute of a dra­matic fi­nal day to de­liver the club’s first ti­tle in 44 years.

In his cur­rent form, there is noth­ing to say he can’t win a third Pre­mier League crown in May. The red half of Manch­ester will hope to have some­thing to say about that they won’t be able to stop Aguero rack­ing up per­sonal ac­co­lades.

His hat trick this week­end means he is just three goals from break­ing Eric Brook’s 78-year Manch­ester City’s club goal scor­ing record of 177, and he’s on track to do it in al­most 200 games fewer. Just a week ago he over­took Dwight Yorke as the Pre­mier League’s top scor- ing non-Euro­pean, and with 127 league goals, he’s 12th top scorer in Pre­mier League his­tory.

He will surely be higher than that by the time he is done. Aguero only turned 29 in the sum­mer and he’s scored at least 20 goals in ev­ery Pre­mier League sea­son so far. It’s not in­con­ceiv­able that he be­comes only the third player ever, af­ter Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney, to score 200 Pre­mier League goals. Never mind be­ing a club “leg­end” as Guardi­ola re­ferred to him on Satur­day night, Aguero should go down as one of the best to ever play in Eng­land. The author is a Shang­hai-based free­lance writer. jmawhite@gmail.com

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