When Sergio Aguero helped Manchester City hit Watford for six last Saturday, he did so by chalking up his sixth Premier League hat-trick.
If he were to notch a magnificent seventh to shatter Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace, the Argentine super striker would smash City’s all-time goal scoring record which has stood for the past 77 years.
Aguero’s three goals in the 27th, 31st, and 81st minutes at Vicarage Road reminded us of his class not that any reminders were necessary after a breathtaking 175 goals in just 259 City appearances.
City’s pocket rocket started as he meant to go on, bagging a brace and providing an assist on his stunning debut against Swansea City back in August 2011 – all that after coming on as a second half substitute!
Roberto Mancini had landed City a £38m bargain from Atletico Madrid, a player who was destined for legendary status at the Etihad, a prolific scorer and truly authentic ‘world class’ marksman.
The City fans wouldn’t swap Sergio for any other striker in the Premier League back then or now, but despite his prowess and professionalism he’s often undervalued and seemingly discriminated against by non-City lovers.
Ridiculously – almost criminally – in his six seasons in England, Sergio has never featured in a Premier League First XI selection when the ‘gongs’ are being handed out, either by his fellow professionals or the Football Writers’ Association.
He netted the Golden Boot Award in 2015, but Sergio lost his spot – at least statistically – as the Premier League’s top striker, due to the emergence of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Kane is already marked as a favourite to retain his top scorer title this season, with many ‘pundits’ regarding Romelu Lukaku over at The Swamp as his biggest rival.
That suits Sergio just fine.
Ever the consummate professional, Aguero let’s his football do the talking with not so much of a whiff of controversy or ever seeking the limelight.
Who knows, had Aguero been immersed in ‘cannibalism’ and biting opponents, or drink driving scandals, he might have caught more of the media glare and, perversely had a better shot at the glittering prizes!
He already has two Premier League wins and two League Cup victories on his CV, and now, with Pep Guardiola at the helm, the best years are surely still to come for Sergio and City.
Despite rumours of friction between City’s manager and his star striker, it’s fair to say Guardiola has helped make Aguero a more complete player – a goal maker as well as a goal taker.
Sergio’s contract at the Etihad presently runs through to 2020, so what’s to say he won’t create a new goal scoring record that will never be surpassed?
As it is Aguero has hit 175 goals in just 259 City appearances. This contrasts with Eric Brook, who currently holds the record, having notched his 177 goals over the course of 453 appearances between 1928 and 1940.
Brook, like Aguero, was regarded as one of the finest forwards of his generation. He was a title winning City champion, back in 1937 but, unlike Sergio, suffered the ignominy of being in a City side relegated the following year in 1938 – the one and only time the defending Champions of England have been relegated!
He does however have one up on Sergio, having won the FA Cup in 1934, when City beat Portsmouth 2-1 with Brook’s England team mate, Fred Tilson, scoring the 88th minute winner.
Brook scored 10 goals in 18 England appearances but, after suffering a fractured skull in a car crash in 1940, the City striker was forced to retire at the age of 33.
Looking at how long it took Brook to hit 177 goals, it’s clear that Aguero is by far the deadliest scorer in City’s history and, as he homes in on the record, we’ve selected five of Sergio’s most memorable strikes to savour.
City fans will differ as to their own personal favourite five – it’s very subjective – and we’d love to hear your own selections.
Here’s our countdown:
Number 5. Chelsea at Wembley – April 2013 – FA Cup Semi Final
The only FA Cup match on the list, but it’s one City supporters will remember fondly, especially Read But Never Red, as we were perfectly in line with Aguero’s looping header as it eluded Petr Cech. City were already up 1-0 after a Samir Nasri strike, when Sergio connected with a long cross from Gareth Barry. The ball seemed to hang endlessly in mid-air before dropping into the Chelsea net.
Number 4. Monaco at Etihad – February 2017 – Champions League Last 16
This one has lost some of its shine given that City ultimately went out of the Champions League over two legs, but that disappointment shouldn’t dull the thrill of a goal which illustrated Sergio’s predatory instincts and technical ability. Losing 3-2 at home, it wasn’t looking good for City until Aguero, seemingly anticipating a missed header from a melee in the 18 yard box, waited patiently to volley home direct from a corner. Sensational finishing in a pressure cooker atmosphere.
Number 3. Manchester United at Old Trafford – April 2013 – Premier League
You couldn’t have a Sergio Selection without at least one inclusion from a Manchester Derby match, and this has to be his best to date. City were already well on the way to relinquishing their title to their hated rivals, but nonetheless had a golden opportunity to make a point by taking all three points at the Theatre of Screams. Tied at 1-1 Aguero more or less took matters into his own hands (or feet), beating pretty much the entire United defense, nearly tumbling to the turf but just managing to fire a rocket shot past David de Gea into the top of the United net.
The goal is famous for the excruciatingly weird expression on the face of United defender Phil Jones – handsome he most certainly is not!
Number 2. Liverpool at Etihad – February 2013 – Premier League
In terms of pure football skill this could well be Sergio’s most impressive City goal. Trailing 2-1 to the always loathsome Liverpool, City were desperate for an equaliser. An errant pass to Aguero wound up trickling away to the far side of the box.
For reasons best known to himself, Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina came way off his line to clear the ball but Aguero beat him to it, before proceeding to defy the laws of physics, flicking the ball into an empty net from a near-impossible angle. It’s a goal you can watch 100 times…and then a hundred times over again.
Number 1. QPR at Etihad – May 2012 with 93:20 on the clock – Premier League Title Winning Goal
Let’s face it there was only ever going to be one Number One in the sumptuous selection of Sergio’s goals and it only needs one descriptive word – AGUERRRRRROOO!
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to watch Aguero in City’s colours week in and week out, and with the prospect of another three seasons at the Etihad, the club’s goal scoring record could well be nudging the 250 mark by the time we bid adios to the Boy from Buenos Aires.
Muchas gracias Sergio largo puede reinar supremo!
By David Walker
www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu