On Sunday, in front of a packed Etihad Stadium, Sergio Aguero cemented his place as one of the Premier Leagues top strikers.
Aguero was not the only Manchester City player to put in a classy performance to down their inner-city rivals. Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure and captain, Vincent Kompany, were all phenomenal. But, it was Aguero that provided that positional awareness and then killer instinct to make the difference.
His two goals, both volleys, were more as a result of his natural ability to be in the right position when the ball came in. His finish, for City’s opener, turning his body and caressing the ball into the far side of David De Gea’s goal, was particularly magnificent.
Many players are judged by their ability to step up in the ‘big matches’ and the Argentine forward has certainly performed when it comes to the Manchester derby, scoring in three of his five matches against United in the Premier League.
It is difficult to say that Aguero represents the best striker in the Premier League. Right now there is an abundance of centre forwards who could claim that position including Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney or, when he finally returns to action, Luis Suarez. But, when you consider Aguero’s knack for scoring in important games, the City forward has to be considered.
It is imperative to mention that under Roberto Mancini last season Aguero was inconsistent, the whole team were, and that may harm his credentials to be the best striker in the league. But since moving to City in 2011 he has built up a strong resume.
He’s made a great account for himself even before City at Athletico Madrid, scoring 75 goals in 175 games, and also has an impressive international record as he has scored 19 goals in 46 games for Argentina.
Including the goals from yesterday’s derby, Aguero has now taken his goal total to 38 goals in 69 Premier League appearances. This results in his goal-to-game ratio being 1.81:1, if he were to keep this up for the season that would leave the player with 23 goals, an impressive haul.
What is crucial to remember is he doesn’t play as an out-and-out striker. He’s always been best playing just off a natural centre forward, whether it was Diego Forlan at Atletico, or Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, or now Alvaro Negredo at City.
Aguero just has the ability to run at defenders, with quick feet, that help him to carve runs through that no one saw possible. This can help to drag defenders in, opening space for his other team mates, or to even create a goal scoring opportunity for himself, as he did against United, not only yesterday, but also with that jinking run in the last derby at Old Trafford.
For City supporters it will please them that a player so influential for their team is only 25 years old. He still has many more years at his peak and their fans will be hoping he can maintain this form throughout that time.
For many, he will always be remembered for scoring in the 93rd minute of the game against Queens Park Rangers, winning City the title that had eluded them for 44 years. Perhaps, if Aguero maintains his goal scoring record, he may one day be described as one of the best in the history of the Premier League.
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