Sergio Aguero talks up Manchester City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne
Sergio Aguero struck four but deflected praise onto Kevin De Bruyne after Manchester City’s 5-1 thrashing of Leicester.
City’s top scorer ran riot in the second half at the Etihad Stadium, firing the Premier League leaders to an emphatic victory after Jamie Vardy had cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s early opener.
Aguero’s quadruple – incorporating his third hat-trick of the season – took his total for the campaign to 28 and his overall City tally to 197.
But as impressive as the Argentinian was, City again owed a lot to the irrepressible De Bruyne, who created his side’s opening three goals in another outstanding display.
“Luckily Kevin De Bruyne is playing for us and helping us to score,” said Aguero, who with 143 Premier League strikes is now only three short of moving into the competition’s top 10.
“I am very lucky because most of the goals come from his assists – I just have to hit the ball. I am happy for him as well. He is a great player and any team in the world would love to have him.”
Most of the pre-match headlines were made by Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez, who was back on the bench after ending more than a week of self-imposed exile following the collapse of a move to City.
But the Algerian could only watch as City raced out of the blocks.
The hosts took a third-minute lead through Sterling, the England international turning home a De Bruyne cross from close range to exorcise the memory of a miss from similar distance at Burnley the previous week.
The Foxes replied with a breakaway goal from Vardy but City took a grip as Aguero struck twice in quick succession after half-time. Leicester sent on Mahrez but to no avail, with Aguero netting twice more.
It was a good way to sign off from Premier League action for the month, with City having Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup commitments in the next fortnight.
“The goals are very important because they help the team to win,” said Aguero. “But I think we are very close to achieving important things. That is why I am very happy, personally and for the team.”
Leicester boss Claude Puel, who insisted Mahrez had been welcomed back into the group, admitted his side were outplayed.
“They had more confidence, found more quality and took the space,” the Frenchman said. “We played against a good team and a fantastic striker in Sergio Aguero. He scored four fantastic goals.
“It is tough for us to concede five goals – it was a big disappointment – but we were a little lucky to come back in the first half and be on level terms.
“The second goal made it too difficult for us because they have the quality to play between our lines and recover the ball quickly, with strong pressing. It was too difficult for us to resist.”