Friday 20 July 2018

Sergio Aguero plays down heroics after Manchester City get back on track

The Argentinian has scored 14 goals in 12 games against the Magpies.

Sergio Aguero (left) scored a hat-trick against Newcastle
Sergio Aguero (left) scored a hat-trick against Newcastle

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Sergio Aguero played down his own heroics after Manchester City got their title charge moving again with victory over his favourite whipping boys Newcastle.

The Argentinian proved the scourge of Newcastle yet again by scoring a hat-trick as Premier League leaders City ran out 3-1 winners at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Aguero put five past the Magpies in one game in 2015 and his latest treble – his second of the season – took his overall tally against them to 14 in 12 games.

But it was City’s return to winning ways, after last week’s first league loss of the season at Liverpool, that most pleased Aguero.

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Aguero (left) claimed the match ball after his treble

The 29-year-old said: “In the Premier League all games are difficult but obviously against Newcastle I have a really good record. That sometimes happens against teams and I am really happy for the goals, but especially for the three points.

“They were really important for us and that is really going to help us a lot in the race for the Premier League.”

City’s victory prevented any further erosion of what remains a formidable 12-point lead at the top of the table.

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Aguero's second goal came from the penalty spot

It looked like being a comfortable afternoon after Aguero, on his 200th Premier League appearance, put the hosts into a 2-0 lead. He opened the scoring by getting the faintest of touches to a Kevin De Bruyne cross in the 34th minute and then doubled the lead with a penalty after Raheem Sterling was fouled.

Sterling also hit the post as City dominated but Newcastle gave themselves hope with a fine breakaway goal from Jacob Murphy.

Those hopes were extinguished by Aguero, who completed a ‘perfect’ hat-trick of header, right and left-foot strikes, after a mazy Leroy Sane run seven minutes from time.

After the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, Aguero felt City found a level they now need to maintain.

“It is going to depend on us,” said Aguero, whose performance was a timely reminder of his ability after the club recently pulled out of a deal for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

“We have a good team, we are in good shape. I think if we keep going the same way, the Premier League will be easier for us to win in the end.”

Newcastle’s loss left them just above the relegation zone at a time of uncertainty at St James’ Park following reports last week that takeover talks had collapsed.

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Newcastle's Paul Dummett took positives from the loss

Yet after also losing only 1-0 to City in December, defender Paul Dummett feels they should take encouragement from how they have played against Pep Guardiola’s impressive side.

Dummett told the club’s website, www.nufc.co.uk: “I think against Man City, twice, we’ve performed, even though we defended quite a lot of the time. I think we have frustrated them.

“They’re quite a lot clear in the league now. You can’t say they’re definitely going to win it but they’re probably the best team I’ve played against in my career. We can learn a lot off them, watching what they do.”

Press Association

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