Aguero runs riot in stunning second half display
FA Premier League
Saturday 03 October 2015, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Fernandinho, Sterling (Navas 46), De Bruyne, Silva (Iheanacho 75), Aguero (Bony 66)
Unused: Caballero, Demichelis, Sagna, Garcia
Goals: Aguero (42, 49, 50, 60, 62), De Bruyne (53)
Booked: Fernandinho, Zabaleta
Referee: Kevin Friend
Man of the match: Aguero
Sergio Aguero produced a stunning second half performance, scoring five goals in a memorable twenty minute spell as City came from a goal behind to annihilate opponents Newcastle. The Argentinian striker has been out of sorts in recent weeks, but this represented a resounding return to form.
Despite their recent travails, the visitors started well and in truth were the better side in the first half. They deservedly took the lead after 18 minutes, when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed past Joe Hart, causing delirium in the away end. Newcastle should have doubled their lead ten minutes later, when Mitrovic was again unmarked in the box only to be thwarted by a smart save bfrom the England goalkeeper. It was a disjointed performance by the Blues, who had lost their previous two Premier League games, and another frustrating afternoon loomed before Aguero's intervention.
His first goal came just before half time, and ultimately changed the course of the game. Silva's deft cross was headed back across the box by Fernandinho, presenting Aguero with a simple diving header to level the scores. Newcastle appealed in vain for offside, but replays showed Aguero was clearly behind Fernandinho. The goal lifted City, and they began the second half with much greater purpose. After 49 minutes Aguero gave the Blues the lead, after his left footed shot took a slightly fortuitous deflection to leave Tim Krul with no chance. Less than a minute later, Aguero had his hatrick, dinking the ball over the stranded Krul following a neat ball from Kevin De Bruyne.
The gifted Belgian, who excelled once again, was next on the scoresheet. Jesus Navas, a half-time substiture for the ineffectual Raheem Sterling, floated over a cross that De Bruyne met with a specatacular volleyed finish. Alan Shearer unfairly labelled it a "fluke" on Match of the Day, but De Bruyne's performance merited a goal. His link-up play with David Silva and Aguero was mesmerising at times, and Newcastle were unable to cope.
Aguero scored his fourth of the game on the hour, bending a delicious shot past Krul into the bottom corner. Two minutes later and Aguero notched his fifth, after a brilliant reverse cross from De Bruyne left him with a tap in at the far post. Shortly afterwards Aguero was substituted to a standing ovation, with Pellegrini opting for caution after the striker had received treatment on at half-time.
Newcastle were no doubt relieved to see the back of their tormentor in chief, and City lost a little momentum as a result. There were further chances to extend the score, with Wilfried Bony's frustrating run of form in front of goal continuing, but overall it was a satisfying day for Pellegrini's men, who have regained top spot after a temporary hiatus.