Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Pep Guardiola hailed Sergio Aguero as an “authentic legend” of Manchester City after his four second-half goals continued their emphatic march towards the Premier League title with a 5-1 thrashing of Leicester.
Raheem Sterling had given City an early lead on Saturday but Leicester went into the break on level terms thanks to Jamie Vardy’s equaliser.
However, Aguero took centre stage with a finishing masterclass to take his tally in City’s last seven home games to 14 goals as Guardiola’s side moved 16 points clear at the top of the table.
“An authentic legend of this club,” said Guardiola of his prolific striker.
“In the second half he scored four goals. Sergio is like this, he has a special talent in the box. He’s clinical… especially the third one and fourth one are amazing.”
Leicester named City target Riyad Mahrez among the substitutes after he ended a self-imposed exile which saw him miss their last two matches.
“He came and spoke to the lads in the dressing room. He put it to bed and we move on,” said Leicester boss Claude Puel.
The Algeria international had seen a proposed deadline day transfer to the Etihad Stadium collapse after the Foxes rejected City’s offer.
But it didn’t take long for the home side to show the abundance of talent they have going forward despite missing out on Mahrez and coping with a series of injuries to the likes of Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus.
Kevin De Bruyne curled a cross into the penalty area and Sterling nipped in front of Marc Albrighton at the back post to guide the ball home for his 20th goal of the season.
However, shortly before the half-hour mark City were rocked when Vardy showed great pace to get beyond City’s record signing Aymeric Laporte and his shot deflected into the bottom corner to complete the striker’s haul of scoring against all of the Premier League’s top six this season.
– Aguero ends long-range wait –
City threatened an immediate response as Kasper Schmeichel was forced to save at his near post from a fierce angled shot from De Bruyne while Aleksandar Dragovic’s timely sliding block denied Sterling.
Leicester’s resistence didn’t last after the break as Aguero scored twice in five minutes to effectively end the game as a contest.
A neat exchange between Sterling and De Bruyne on the right flank allowed the latter to tease a low cross to gift Aguero a tap-in.