SERGIO Aguero’s goal-scoring record in the Premier League gets more and more formidable with every passing season. Yet another hat-trick on Sunday, as Manchester City mercilessly deconstructed Aston Villa, means he has now claimed more match-balls than anyone else while his second of the game made him the most prolific foreign player in the competition’s history.
As for the stats they frazzle the mind. All told, his haul amounts to 177 goals from 255 games, which equates to a goal every 106.5 minutes. Only three forwards in the English top flight boast a superior strike-rate and collectively they made 581 more appearances. Aguero arrived with lethal intent on our shores in 2011 achieving, amongst other things, the unique feat of scoring 20-plus goals in five consecutive seasons.
All of which means there are an awful lot to choose from when selecting ten stand-out strikes even when concentrating only on the league. Doing so also leaves us with a new-found sympathy for goalkeepers.
10) 0-4 vs West Brom, The Hawthorns (2016/17)
Kun’s second at the Hawthorns was a thumping effort from range but it’s his opener that deserves to be highlighted, illustrating as it does his stock-in-trade with 88% of his tally executed inside the box and 71% of them drilled or guided from his right boot.
Anticipation and sharp movement gains him a modicum of space and a sight of goal. From there the outcome is inevitable. We don’t watch wildlife programmes for the colourful parrots. We watch them for the predatory lions because a part of us thrills at the sheer ruthlessness of nature.
9) 6-0 vs QPR (Etihad Stadium, 2014/15)
A goal that doesn’t appear to be anything special at first glance until it’s slowed down in replay. A long searching ball is plucked from the sky and instantly flicked inside the last man, cushioned with a thigh to further bring it under control. A twist back the way he originally faced has the defender flummoxed and a good chunk of netting is suddenly visible.
With all his other attributes rightfully lauded, Aguero’s ability to trick his way out of a paper bag is so often overlooked.
8) 1-2 vs Watford (Etihad Stadium, 2015/16)
As too is his heading and from the 17 that briefly disheveled whatever on-trend haircut he rocked at the time (let’s ignore the Mohican) this is a particular favourite for Blues. A goal down at Vicarage Road with minutes remaining City fought to the end and grabbed an unlikely three points courtesy of a late winner that had Aguero leaping like the proverbial salmon and planting the ball powerfully into the far corner.
It was a goal any good old-fashioned number nine would be proud of and it came from the club’s greatest ever number ten.
7) 0-1 vs Burnley (Turf Moor, 2018/19)
It is exceedingly rare for a special talent to focus so obsessively on his primary function, eschewing any bells and whistles that might come with the role and win extra admirers. In Aguero’s case his job is to score goals. Any way, any how. It defines him.
Which is why his no-nonsense scrambled effort that barely made it over the line at Turf Moor last term is included here because on that day the points were all that mattered and with Burnley stoic and well-drilled desperation was beginning to kick in. City turned to their leading man and he duly delivered. He always does.
6) 1-4 vs Sunderland (Stadium of Light, 2014/15)
City had lost 1-0 on their previous four visits to the Stadium of Light so when Conor Wickham put the Black Cats in front the away contingent feared the worst. Enter stage left Kun with a heavy first touch that initially lures in a defender who is turned easily.
With the goal then at his mercy the striker sears one past his former team-mate Costel Pantilimon with such ferocity it would be missed by a blink. Sunderland sub Jozy Altidore can be seen mouthing ‘Oh my God’ in astonishment. Forwards know.
5) 1-2 vs Manchester United (Old Trafford, 2012/13)
Returning from a knee problem City’s finest ever marksman brooded on the bench, seeing a 1-1 draw play out before him with hopes of a consecutive title fading fast. It took him just seven minutes to put that right.
With his route to goal blocked by two centre-backs he took the long way around, driving diagonally across the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot high inside the near post. It was unorthodox. It was magnificent. Even leaving aside his other 169 goals, the eight he has scored against United would still have him burnished in legend.
4) 5-1 vs Leicester City (Etihad Stadium, 2017/18)
A tense, tight first half gave way to the Sergio Aguero show as four rained in during the second period and it’s his emphatic fourth that was the high point. Hammered from distance the shot is made all the more aesthetically pleasing by arcing directly above the flailing arms of Kasper Schmeichel before thumping back down off the crossbar.
It was proof – if proof were needed – that Kun could do the spectacular when the mood took him.
3) 4-0 vs Swansea (Etihad Stadium, 2011/12)
The most impressive introduction since Definitely Maybe and the most stylish since Harry Lime smiled from a Viennese doorway in The Third Man.Having joined for a record £36m from Atletico Madrid in the summer Aguero’s half-hour cameo on the opening weekend of the season was supposed to ease him into the frenetic demands of English football.
Instead he slotted one home after eight minutes before improvising an agile assist for David Silva. Then, in the final flourishes came his early coronation: a fizzing, dipping screamer from 25 yards. Still clear in the memory was Barry Conlon and Lee Bradbury. City fans weren’t used to this.
2) 2-2 vs Liverpool (Eithad Stadium, 2012/13)
There are few things more endearing than witnessing a genius surprised at his own genius. Here City were inferior and trailing on the night until a speculative punt down a channel had Pepe Reina racing into no man’s land and beaten marginally to the ball.
From the tightest, nigh-on impossible of angles Aguero managed to somehow find the target, his momentum sending him crashing to the turf. There he sat; arms aloft, grinning broadly in the direction of the fans; sharing our amazement.
1) 3-2 vs QPR (Etihad Stadium, 2011/12)
Leaving this one out would be like interviewing Neil Armstrong and not mentioning the moon. With a first league title for 44 years on the line and a clock cruelly running down, Aguero skipped past Nedum Onuoha and fired in a close-range rocket that shook the world.
It was one small step for man, one giant leap for Manchester City.