Sergio Aguero’s hattrick puts Pep Guardiola’s slick City top of Premier League

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their fifth goal and his third to complete his hattrick during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town. (AFP)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Sergio Aguero’s hattrick puts Pep Guardiola’s slick City top of Premier League

MANCHESTER: Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick, with one of the goals set up by his own goalkeeper, as Manchester City turned on the style in a 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield to claim top spot in the Premier League on Sunday.
High up on the highlight reel in the latest exhibition by City was a 70-meter pass from goalkeeper Ederson Moraes from his own penalty area that found Aguero running behind Huddersfield’s high line.
Aguero cut inside and chipped Huddersfield’s stranded ‘keeper Ben Hamer, setting City on its way to its second straight win to open the season. With eight goals already, it’s an ominous start by the defending champions.
City’s other scorers were Gabriel Jesus, who started up front alongside Aguero in a 3-5-2 formation, and long-serving playmaker David Silva, who curled in a delightful free kick. A miserable afternoon at Etihad Stadium for Huddersfield was wrapped up by Terence Kongolo’s 84th-minute own-goal.
It was Aguero’s ninth Premier League hat trick, bettered only by Alan Shearer’s 11. City began their title defense by beating Arsenal 2-0 away last weekend, and Pep Guardiola’s men are already looking ominous as they seek to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since their cross-city rivals United managed three in a row between 2006 and 2009.
Guardiola’s side are top already having scored eight goals in two games, conceding just one. Huddersfield, meanwhile, drop to the bottom of the standings on goal difference.


Le Fondre pounces to earn Sydney vital point

Updated 23 April 2019
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Le Fondre pounces to earn Sydney vital point

  • The stalemate leaves all to play for in Group H

SHANGHAI: “Fantastic” journeyman forward Adam le Fondre pounced to earn Sydney FC a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Shanghai SIPG in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

The stalemate leaves all to play for in Group H with two rounds of matches to play after table-toppers Ulsan were held 2-2 at Kawasaki Frontale.

Chinese champions SIPG, for whom Brazilian forward Hulk was a constant menace, came back from a goal down to lead 2-1.

But the 32-year-old le Fondre displayed his enduring predatory instincts to grab a classy leveller on 62 minutes.

The striker, who is at his ninth club and has had spells at Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, popped up with a bullet header on the six-yard box.

“He’s a fantastic person, first and foremost, and a fantastic player,” said Sydney coach Steve Corica, who knows his team will almost certainly need to win their last two matches to progress to the knock-out rounds.

Corica, formerly a player at Leicester City and Wolves, was full of praise for the evergreen le Fondre, who moved to Australia from Bolton in August 2018.

“He’s played in England, played in the Premier League, scored goals wherever he’s gone,” said Corica.

“He works extremely hard for our team and in the A-League has scored 16 goals (this season), and he’s scored in the Champions League.

“He’s been fantastic for our club and the way he’s played this year.”

Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale gave themselves a qualification lifeline as they fought back from a goal down at home with nine minutes remaining to draw 2-2 with South Korea’s Ulsan.

Leandro Damiao fired home an 81st-minute equalizer to revive Frontale’s fading hopes of progress to the last 16.

Star striker Yu Kobayashi opened the scoring for the home side, but the Koreans struck back twice before half-time through Park Yang-woo and Junior Negrao.

Kawasaki piled on the pressure toward the end with Kobayashi guilty of the miss of the match in the second minute of stoppage time when he found himself unmarked with the goal gaping, but somehow hit the post.

Ulsan top a tight Group H on eight points, with SIPG on five, Kawasaki on four and Sydney still just about alive on three points.

Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by an under-strength Melbourne Victory.

The former two-time Asian champions dropped to second in Group F after Huang Bowen’s 24th-minute strike was canceled out by Jai Ingham’s goal two minutes later. Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima took advantage of the Chinese giants’ slip-up to go top on nine points with a 1-0 win at Daegu FC in South Korea, courtesy of Hayato Araki’s 34th-minute winner. With Daegu just a point behind Guangzhou, Cannavaro’s men now face a pivotal clash in Hiroshima in two weeks before the group finale against the Koreans on May 22.