English Premiership

Aguero's equals City record as leaders cruise

2017-10-21 18:23
Sergio Aguero.(Getty Images)

Manchester - Sergio Aguero equalled Manchester City's all-time goal-scoring record as the Premier League leaders wore down Burnley to secure a 3-0 victory on Saturday.

Aguero, making his first appearance since breaking his rib in a taxi crash on September 28, struck his 177th goal for City with a penalty, equalling the mark set by Eric Brook between 1927 and 1939.

City had to work hard for openings, but made the game safe with two quick goals inside the final 20 minutes from Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane.

Pep Guardiola's side are five points clear at the top of the Premier League, while their run of 11 successive wins in all competitions equals a club record.

Aguero returned as one of two changes to the team that had begun City's last three matches, with Bernardo Silva making only his second league start as Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling dropped to the bench.

Burnley, unbeaten in their opening four away league matches, were unchanged from the side who had drawn with West Ham seven days earlier, and showed great discipline in the face of early City pressure.

The visitors almost broke through themselves after a quarter-of-an-hour, as Chris Wood burst past Kyle Walker and Nicolas Otamendi, with Ederson diving bravely at the striker's feet.

It was beginning to look as if City would be in for a frustrating afternoon, as goalkeeper Nick Pope beat out Bernardo Silva's first-time shot from Sane's left-wing cut-back, but they took the lead just before the half-hour mark in controversial circumstances.

Pope dived to his left to save well from Kevin De Bruyne, who had been played through by David Silva's sublime pass, but as the ball ran loose, the goalkeeper was judged to have clipped Bernardo Silva, who fell to the ground.

Contact appeared minimal, but referee Roger East saw enough to award a penalty, leading to furious protests from the visitors.

Once the fuss abated, Aguero sent Pope the wrong way from the spot.

The Argentina international might have scored three more before half-time, with one positive run ending with a shot across goal, before he connected with De Bruyne's sliding pass down the right and aimed for the near post, with Pope's legs making a block.

Pope used his feet again as Aguero angled in from the left and fired towards the far post.

City had to survive a couple of awkward moments early in the second half, with their opponents claiming a penalty as Fernandinho accidentally volleyed a clearance on to his own hand, although East was right to reject the appeals.

Then Jeff Hendrick was unable to get the ball into a position for a shot eight yards out as a Burnley free-kick caused panic in the home defence.

City found it tough to create clear chances in the second half as Burnley continued to be disciplined, with Pope blocking David Silva's shot at the near post after good approach play from Aguero and Sane.

However, in the space of a couple of minutes, City scored two quick goals that put the match out of their opponents' reach.

First, Sane delivered an outswinging corner met by Otamendi's powerful 73rd minute header, with Steven Defour on the line unable to kick it clear.

Then De Bruyne's 75th minute pass sent Sane clear to slot beyond Pope and complete another City win.

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West Ham United v Leicester City, London Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 25 November 2017
Swansea City v AFC Bournemouth, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Old Trafford 17:00
Crystal Palace v Stoke City, Selhurst Park 17:00
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Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 15:30
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