MANCHESTER CITY THRASHED Aston Villa 6-1 as Sergio Aguero netted a hat-trick to break two records, Riyad Mahrez scored twice and former Leicester City team-mate Danny Drinkwater endured a debut to forget.
The contest was settled in a 10-minute spell at Villa Park in which Mahrez grabbed a double and Aguero equalled Thierry Henry as the Premier League’s top-scoring non-Englishman, later surpassing him and grabbing a record 12th hat-trick in the process.
It was a particularly harsh introduction to life at his new club for Chelsea loanee Drinkwater, who might have prevented the opener and effectively supplied the second.
Mahrez broke the deadlock after easily shrugging off Drinkwater’s dithering presence, while the three-cap England international gave the ball away in his own box to allow his former Foxes team-mate to double his tally.
Aguero’s rasping drive put City in control and Gabriel Jesus made it 4-0 before the break, with Villa’s punishment extended by two more goals for Aguero after the break – Anwar El Ghazi’s late penalty a minor blemish for the champions.
Having seen Liverpool continue their apparently unstoppable march to the top-flight title with a 1-0 win at Tottenham yesterday, City – fresh from a 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg victory over Manchester United – were initially a little lacklustre before Mahrez injected some much-needed quality with his 18th-minute opener, which came at the end of a fine solo run.
Drinkwater, having failed to make an impact in a previous spell with Burnley, looked off the pace and was caught by David Silva, who found Jesus to set up Mahrez for the Algerian’s second soon after.
Aguero’s record-equalling goal was more eye-catching, his vicious strike from outside the box getting the better of Orjan Nyland to leave Villa reeling.
Worse was to come in first-half stoppage time, Jesus steering home from Kevin De Bruyne’s superb pinpoint cross from right.
To Villa’s credit, they limited the damage in the second half, albeit Dean Smith’s side were often pinned back by a fluent and strutting City outfit.