By Toby Prince
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 on Sunday to return to the top of the 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 on Sunday, 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.