Manchester City’s on-fire striker Sergio Aguero struck his second hat-trick in a week as the champions ruthlessly destroyed woeful Chelsea in a 6-0 win at The Etihad to return to the top of the English Premier League.

City and Liverpool are both on 65 points with City having the better goal difference although they have played one more game than their rivals. Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Leicester City 3-1 earlier, are five points behind.

Aguero, who scored a hat-trick seven days ago against Arsenal, has now equalled Alan Shearer’s record of 11 Premier League hat-tricks.

Raheem Sterling fired City ahead in the fourth minute with a side-foot finish after a quick free-kick from Kevin De Bruyne had caught the Chelsea defence napping.

After Aguero had somehow missed an open goal from two metres, the Argentine promptly beat goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a blistering strike from 25 metres.

A poor header towards his own goal from Chelsea’s Ross Barkley gifted Aguero with City’s third goal and then a low drive from Ilkay Gundogan made it 4-0 after 25 minutes.

Following the break, Aguero, who also became City’s top scorer in league games, headed against the bar before he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Sterling had been brought down by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Sterling completed the rout, turning in a low cross from Oleksandr Zinchenko in the 80th. The defeat was Chelsea’s worst since their 7-0 loss to Nottingham Forest in 1991.

Goals from Davinson Sanchez, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min helped Spurs overcome Leicester.

Tottenham went ahead through Sanchez who scored his first goal for the London club by meeting Eriksen’s whipped cross with a diving header in the 33rd minute, although Leicester’s players complained he was in an offside position.

Leicester missed the chance to equalise on the hour mark when substitute Jamie Vardy’s penalty — his first touch after coming on — was pushed away by Hugo Lloris after Jan Vertonghen was adjudged to have fouled James Maddison in the box.

Tottenham doubled their lead three minutes later as Eriksen collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a fierce shot past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Vardy made up for his earlier miss by tapping in from close range 14 minutes from the final whistle after a well worked move allowed Ricardo Pereira to drill in a cross from the right.

After a sustained period of Leicester pressure, Son settled nerves of the home supporters by slotting in Tottenham’s third with a solo run from the halfway line.

RNZI

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