Aguero composes solo masterpiece to sink Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino described Sergio Aguero as the best striker in the world.
LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur had been warned.
Two days before they ventured north to face Premier League champions Manchester City, their manager Mauricio Pochettino described Sergio Aguero as the best striker in the world -- calling him the Mozart of football.
Aguero duly delivered a virtuoso performance to destroy Tottenham on Saturday, bagging all his side's goals in a 4-1 victory that was never as comfortable as the score suggested.
The fact that two of them came from the penalty spot and he also had another spot-kick saved took a little gloss off his feat, but the Argentine maestro was simply a class apart as he became City's all-time leading Premier League hitman.
"I always say Sergio Aguero has all the conditions to be one of three four most important players in the world," City boss Manuel Pellegrini said after a victory that kept City on the tail of league leaders Chelsea.
"He's an incredible player. He scored four and could have scored two or three more. We are trying to convince him to play the way he did today always."
While Carlos Tevez, whose previous record of 58 Premier League goals Aguero has now bettered, was a relentless workhorse, Aguero plays his football with classical elegance combined with soaring passages of brilliance.
Aguero has nine Premier League goals this season, the same as Chelsea's Diego Costa, and if City are to retain their title keeping him fit will be essential.
City might have dropped points without him against a Tottenham side whose lively attack often worried City's rearguard, but whose defence was fragile.
Chances had been created at both ends when Aguero offered his first flourish after 13 minutes, a jink inside Younes Kaboul and a shot dispatched past Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham had their own conductor in Christian Eriksen and the Dane equalised almost immediately with a rasping drive that cannoned in off the crossbar.
Aguero's riposte was ruthless, though, as he stroked away a harshly-awarded penalty in the 20th minute -- referee Jonathan Moss deciding that Erik Lamela had fouled Frank Lampard.
Shortly afterwards Kaboul's crass tackle on David Silva gave Aguero the chance to complete his hat-trick but he was denied by the foot of Lloris before skying the rebound over.
It could have been the Aguero v Lloris show as minutes later the striker was through on goal but was denied by another good save from the over-worked Frenchman.
Tottenham could only watch on with envy.
Had they had a player of Aguero's class they may have been level as they continued to create opportunities, the best of which fell to Roberto Soldado but his timid spot-kick was saved by Joe Hart who then beat away a brilliant volley.
That breathless passage of play proved to be the turning point of the game as Aguero's hat-trick duly arrived in the 68th minute from the penalty spot following a sneaky grab on him by centre back Fabrizio Fabio whose afternoon of torment was curtailed by a red card.
The crescendo to a marvellous display came seven minutes later when Aguero danced in from the right and planted another lazer-guided shot beyond the helpless Lloris.
Aguero has scored seven goals in his last three matches against Tottenham led by three different managers and the London's club's current incumbent Pochettino was left picking up the pieces of his side's first away defeat this season.
"Aguero scored four goals, he had the best day you can have," Pochettino, who felt his side were unlucky to be behind to Aguero's first penalty, said. "When you play against a player of his quality having a day like that it's difficult."