Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City swept Huddersfield aside with an emphatic 6-1 victory on Super Sunday.
City’s all-time leading goalscorer was on target twice in the first half (25, 35), either side of a low finish from Gabriel Jesus, as the champions took total control of their first home game of the new Premier League season.
Jon Stankovic tapped in a lifeline for Huddersfield two minutes before half-time, but David Silva’s sublime free-kick re-established City’s three-goal cushion on 47 minutes.
Aguero sealed the 13th hat-trick of his Manchester City career 14 minutes from the end, before Terence Kongolo’s own goal six minutes from time completed the rout as Pep Guardiola’s side laid down an early marker in the title race.
Goalkeeper Ederson was the architect of the opening goal in the 25th minute, hitting a goal-kick long into the path of Aguero who evaded the attention of Christopher Schindler and chipped the onrushing Ben Hamer from the edge of the penalty area.
The second came six minutes later when Mendy cut in from the left and exchanged passes with Jesus before the ball ricocheted back into the path of the striker and he shot low with his left foot past Hamer’s near post.
The Huddersfield goalkeeper was slow getting down, but Aguero’s second four minutes later was even more embarrassing. Hamer palmed Mendy’s left-wing cross back out into play and the Argentine was alert to tap into an empty net.
Pep Guardiola raised eyebrows with his team selection, leaving out Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez. They were replaced by Gabriel Jesus, Vincent Kompany and David Silva with Kevin De Bruyne injured and Leroy Sane on the bench. Jon Stankovic made his first Huddersfield appearance since March 2017.
Huddersfield somehow found a way into the game on 43 minutes when Philip Billing’s throw-in was flicked on by Steve Mounie for Stankovic to prod in from close range, but the respite was only temporary as David Silva stepped up to curl a brilliant free-kick past Hamer two minutes after half-time.
With the result beyond doubt, Aguero chased his hat-trick and went close when his left-footed long-ranger fizzed back off the post in the 57th minute and he lashed over two minutes later after a one-two with Jesus.
But his third goal arrived with his last touch of the game in the 76th minute as he expertly back-heeled Mendy’s cross across Hamer before his replacement Leroy Sane engineered a sixth goal when his close-range effort was blocked by Hamer and bounced in off the unfortunate Kongolo.
The result puts City top of the fledgling Premier League table and will leave many wondering if they can possibly be stopped in their pursuit of back-to-back titles.
City have now scored 104 goals in 39 games at home under Pep Guardiola in the Premier League.
David Silva’s strike was his first ever direct free-kick goal in a league match in the top five European Leagues, in what was also his 250th Premier League appearance.
With his assist to Aguero for the opening goal, Ederson became the first goalkeeper to assist a Premier League goal for Manchester City.
Aguero has now scored nine hat-tricks in the Premier League (level with Robbie Fowler), only Alan Shearer (11) has managed more.