MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) – Sergio Aguero scored four goals in a game of four penalties as Manchester City recorded a memorable 4-1 win over 10-man Tottenham Hotspur at Eastlands on Saturday.
Aguero’s impressive haul means the Argentina striker is now City’s top-scorer in the Premier League era, with 61 goals in 95 appearances.
He opened the scoring and, after the outstanding Christian Eriksen pulled Tottenham level, Aguero added the hosts’ second with a penalty.
Aguero had another first-half spot-kick saved by Hugo Lloris, but Joe Hart stopped Roberto Soldado’s penalty before Aguero converted his third attempt of the day after a foul from Federico Fazio that earned the Tottenham defender a red card.
Former Atletico Madrid star Aguero then added his fourth goal with 15 minutes left to secure a comfortable win as the reigning champions kept the pressure on leaders Chelsea.
After the 4-4 draw between Bradford City and Derby County in 2000, it was only the second time in Premier League history that four penalties have been awarded in one game.
The only downside for City was an injury that saw veteran midfielder Frank Lampard carried off in the first half with a thigh problem.
After the chaos that saw them concede just 13 seconds into a 6-0 defeat at Eastlands in November, Tottenham’s afternoon actually began reasonably well this time.
They had more energy in midfield and might have led when Nacer Chadli’s run down the left ended with him crossing for Ryan Mason to drag wide from the edge of the area.
Mason got an even better opening when he was picked out by Soldado’s pass only to be denied to a block from Hart.
City had threatened when David Silva wrongly chose to pass for an offside Aguero rather than shooting from a good position.
But they moved ahead after 13 minutes when Erik Lamela lost possession and Lampard fed Aguero for the striker to work the ball into space away from Younes Kaboul and bend a shot into the bottom corner.
Tottenham responded two minutes later when Mason stole the ball from Fernando in midfield and Soldado slid a pass through for Eriksen to thump a shot in off the bar.
In the 20th minute, City were given a penalty when Lamela shoved Lampard in the area and Aguero converted from the spot to restore the lead. The hosts were given a second penalty when Kaboul clipped Silva as the Spaniard burst on to James Milner’s pass, but this time Aguero’s effort was blocked by Lloris and he volleyed over from the rebound.
Aguero passed up another opportunity when he latched on to a long clearance and then teased Kaboul to make room for a shot that he hit straight at Lloris.