Football: Aguero's 13th hat-trick sends free-scoring City top after rout of Huddersfield

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their fifth goal to complete his hat-trick against Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Aug 19, 2018.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their fifth goal to complete his hat-trick against Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Aug 19, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS/AFP) - Sergio Aguero netted his 13th hat-trick for Manchester City, as the English Premier League football champions made light of the absence of the injured Kevin de Bruyne to thrash Huddersfield Town 6-1 and move top of the table on Sunday (Aug 19).

The visitors were never likely to replicate last season's feat of stopping City scoring at home. After riding their luck for 25 minutes, goalkeeper Ederson found Aguero with a perfect through ball and the Argentinian kept his cool to finish cleverly.

Unusually, coach Pep Guardiola opted to start Gabriel Jesus alongside Aguero. The Brazilian also scored after exchanging passes with Benjamin Mendy and firing past Ben Hamer, who then fumbled a cross to gift Aguero his second and City's third in a blistering 10-minute spell before half-time.

Although Jon Stankovic pulled a goal back before the interval, there was no respite as David Silva marked his 250th Premier League game with a perfect free kick. Aguero flicked home his third on 75 minutes and Terence Kongolo put through his own net late on - the ninth goal Huddersfield have conceded in two games.

In the other early kick-off, second-half strikes from skipper Troy Deeney and Will Hughes gave Watford an impressive 3-1 win at Burnley.

Former Burnley forward Andre Gray opened the scoring in the third minute with a superbly taken volley from a fine Deeney cross from the right flank.

Three minutes later, though, Burnley got back on level terms when James Tarkowski rose well at the back post to head in a Johann Berg Gudmundsson corner.

After an evenly balanced and entertaining first half, Watford hit Burnley, who have now gone seven league games without a win, twice after the break.

Deeney drove home in the 48th minute after being found in the box by Abdoulaye Doucoure, then a terrible giveaway by Burnley defender Matt Lowton to Will Hughes resulted in the Watford midfielder firing past Joe Hart with a brilliant left-foot strike.

Guardiola was thrilled by Aguero’s lethal display and admitted his forward is hitting new heights. 

“The pass was outstanding, the control by Sergio Aguero. I never saw him like this since I was here, he is in an incredible condition with the ball and without the ball,” Guardiola said.  “I thought to take Sergio off before the hat-trick but in the end it was perfect, he scored a goal and off to a standing ovation.”

City have made a swaggering start to their title defence, brushing aside Arsenal last weekend before crushing Huddersfield.  Ominously for their title rivals, Guardiola believes City are even better than last season. 

“We started better than last season. We made a good performance in 90 minutes,” he said. 

“Last season Huddersfield played five at the back. We decided today, we would play with two strikers. All the players made a good performance.”

The return to fitness of France defender Benjamin Mendy, who missed most of last season with a knee injury has been a major boost to City. 

“We could not attack in this way last year because we did not have Benjamin Mendy, he is so clever to go up and down,” Guardiola said.  “When we have we are able to attack in that way.”