Sergio Aguero signed off on his Premier League career with another record as he came off the bench to score a brace in Manchester City’s 5-0 thrashing of Everton.
Aguero, already the top-scoring overseas player in Premier League history, entered the fray at 3-0 in the 65th minute and converted with the outside of his boot when Fernandinho snaffled possession six minutes later.
He then headed home a superb delivery from the veteran Brazilian for his 184th top-flight City goal, usurping Wayne Rooney’s 183 for Manchester United as the Premier League’s largest one-club haul.
City’s all-time record goalscorer has endured an injury-ravaged season and was only fit enough for a place on the bench, leaving Pep Guardiola’s champions to again demonstrate how expertly they have shared the goals around in his absence.
Kevin De Bruyne’s 10th of the season in the 11th minute made him the seventh City player into double figures this term, with Gabriel Jesus scoring his 14th shortly afterwards and Phil Foden his 16th after half-time.
Six days out from their Champions League final showdown with Chelsea, City were not always at their best defensively and Golden Glove winner Ederson needed a 36th-minute penalty save from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s effort to preserve a 19th league clean sheet of the season.
There was little Jordan Pickford could do little when De Bruyne got Riyad Mahrez’s pass out of his feet to thump home emphatically from 20 yards.
Jesus quickly got in on the act himself, with De Bruyne back in his customary role of provider, leaving the Brazil international to engineer space in the box and score his eighth Premier League goal against the Toffees.
After a week when he was voted FWA Football of the Year, Ruben Dias was unusually lax at the heart of the City defence and brought down Richarlison in the box, only for Ederson to spring right and keep out Sigurdsson’s kick.
Mahrez clattered the bar from distance before the interval and Foden extended City’s advantage further six minutes after the resumption, slotting in right-footed from Raheem Sterling’s pass.
A bedraggled Everton then proved to be very accommodating opponents on Aguero’s victory lap, with only a superb Pickford save when he met an 81st-minute De Bruyne corner preventing a fairy tale hat-trick.
What it means: Aguero departs as undisputed Premier League great and makes his case for Porto
Not only did he claim another record for his collection, Aguero also reduced his Premier League-leading minutes-per-goal figure, trimming his rate from one every 109 to 108 with a lethal cameo. If reports are to be believed, Barcelona have pouched themselves a wonderful free transfer. There was some beautiful symmetry to be seen in Aguero’s final outing in England’s top flight, having also come off the bench to score twice on his debut against Swansea City in August 2011.
Is this the last we have seen of him in a sky blue shirt? If he remains in this sort of mood, Chelsea’s defenders will certainly hope so.
De Bruyne sharpens his tools for the final
When De Bruyne took his first touch for the opener, it felt like a goal before he struck the ball – an absurd conclusion to reach considering he was outside the penalty area and handy explanation of his rare talent. The Belgium star has rested up since City saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League semi-finals but there were no signs of rust as he created a match-high seven chances for his team-mates.
Keane run over by City juggernaut
Everton still harboured hopes of reaching the inaugural Europa Conference and began brightly, but an abject defensive showing meant their afternoon unravelled at pace. Aguero’s deeds might see him granted the freedom of Manchester one day and Michael Keane looked to be bestowing that honour upon him as he headed the final goal. The England centre-back made one clearance on no tackles despite his team being under siege for long spells.
Having ended Everton’s hopes of European football next season, City turn their attention towards a shot at continental glory at Estadio do Dragao in six days’ time.
Click Here To Read Our Top Stories For Today
Send Your Stories to email: [email protected] or Whatsapp: 0576270779