City urged to chalk up record points

Sergio Aguero, celebrating with Fernandinho after completing his treble, has scored the EPL's first perfect hat-trick (header, left foot, right foot) since he netted one against Newcastle in October 2015.
Sergio Aguero, celebrating with Fernandinho after completing his treble, has scored the EPL's first perfect hat-trick (header, left foot, right foot) since he netted one against Newcastle in October 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Pep Guardiola has set Manchester City's sights on a record number of Premier League points this season, after Sergio Aguero's hat-trick earned them a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

City lead second-placed Manchester United by 12 points with 65 points from 24 matches.

Chelsea finished with 95 points when they won the title in 2004-05, and City will better that if they win 10 and draw one of their last 14 games.

"We need 10 more wins to be champions, and we'll try for more points," said City manager Guardiola, who restored David Silva to his side and handed Oleksandr Zinchenko a full Premier League debut at left-back.

"It was important how we reacted at 2-1, we didn't panic."

Aguero deftly headed in Kevin de Bruyne's cross in the 34th minute, before converting a 63rd-minute penalty to put City in command.

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  • Manchester City's David Silva has been on the winning side in his last 23 club games in all competitions - the longest run of any player since the English Football League began in 1888.

Newcastle rallied, with Jacob Murphy scoring four minutes later.

But Leroy Sane set up Aguero seven minutes from time for his and City's third, as the home side bounced back from a 4-3 defeat at Liverpool.

The Argentina international has now scored 14 times in 12 league games against Newcastle.

"We needed it (this win) after last week," he told BT Sport, referring to the Anfield result which ended City's 30-match unbeaten run in the league.

"It's a long season though and we've not won anything yet."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2018, with the headline 'City urged to chalk up record points'. Print Edition | Subscribe