Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who has struggled with injury all season and scored only three goals before Saturday, proved he was right back to his best when he joined the Premier League’s exclusive five-goal club.
Aguero, already a Manchester City folk hero for scoring the goal that clinched the title in 2012, became the first City player in the Premier League era to score five in one match as City beat Newcastle United 6-1 to go top of the table on Saturday. Kevin de Bruyne scored the other.
But the surprise was not only that Aguero scored so many, but that City crushed a Newcastle team who had been better for most of the first half, had led after 18 minutes and caused the City fans to jeer their team off at the Etihad Stadium at halftime.
Aguero struck his first after 42 minutes and then found the net again after 49, 50, 60 and 62 minutes to become the first player since Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov in November 2010 to score five in a Premier League game.
The others were Andy Cole of Manchester United in 1995, Alan Shearer for Newcastle in 1999 and Jermain Defoe for Tottenham Hotspur in 2009, with Aguero grabbing his five faster than any of them.
There were ironic jeers, and not serious ones, from the City fans when coach Manuel Pellegrini substituted him two minutes after his fifth goal.
“He was not upset about going off. He was having treatment at half time and it was a risk for him to finish the whole game,” he told the BBC.
“Sergio Aguero is different. In other games he was maybe having a lot of chances but not scoring, but today he returned to his normal amount of chances he creates but this time he scored.”
The victory took City, who had lost their last two league games, back to the top of the table, at least until Manchester United play at Arsenal on Sunday and left Newcastle bottom, still without a win after eight games.
Their manager Steve McClaren told the BBC: “We came here to win. We defended well and were compact in the first half. We could have been 3-0 up before they scored.
“Sergio Aguero was world class. He is getting back to form and we were punished by a really high quality opponent.
“It was such a magnificent performance in the first half, it was the same against Chelsea last week but in 13 minutes we got beaten by world class individuals.”