Manchester – Manchester City closed to within two points of Premier League leaders
Liverpool thanks to Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Arsenal
For the second time in a week, Aguero scored inside the first minute to give City the perfect start.
just like in a shock defeat at Newcastle on Tuesday, the champions
failed to press home their advantage as Laurent Koscielny profited from
some slack defending to head home an equaliser just 10 minutes later.
Guardiola’s men were knocked out of their stride for most of the
remainder of the first half, but retook the lead in style just a minute
before the break when Ilkay Gundogan’s delightful lofted pass teed up
Raheem Sterling to cross for Aguero to tap home.
The same two
players combined for the Argentine to secure his 10th Premier League
hat-trick in controversial fashion as the ball came back off Aguero’s
arm before rolling over the line just after the hour mark.
consecutive away league game without a win sees Arsenal slip down to
sixth behind Manchester United, who were 1-0 victors at Leicester
earlier on Sunday, and three points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in
the battle for Champions League football next season.
now scored seven times in as many games in 2019 to underline his
importance to City’s quest for silverware on four fronts.
30-year-old capped a flying start from the hosts by steering home an
unstoppable header past Bernd Leno just 51 seconds in after Alex Iwobi
was caught in possession by Aymeric Laporte.
Moments later the ball was in the Arsenal net again, but this time Laporte was rightly flagged offside.
The Gunners had barely threatened before levelling when Koscielny stooped low to head home Nacho Monreal’s flick-on.
also led early on in defeats by Crystal Palace and Leicester in
December and Koscielny’s equaliser shifted the mood and momentum of the
game as the home side feared the same fate may further damage their
Instead, one brilliant move swung the outcome
back in their favour. Sterling played a one-two with Gundogan before
volleying a magnificent, first-time centre across the face of the net
for the unmarked Aguero to turn in at the far post.
In contrast, the second half was a stroll and City should have more than just the one goal to show for their dominance.
was again the architect with a darting run into the area which left the
Arsenal defence in tatters before he reached the by-line and crossed
for the sliding Aguero to steer the ball in via his arm.
Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Aguero again peppered Leno with powerful
shots that the German kept out to maintain some respectability for
But that is all they had to show for another sorry away
performance that leaves their chances of avoiding a third straight
season in the Europa League fading.