Pep Guardiola hailed Sergio Aguero as an “authentic legend” of Manchester City after his four second-half goals continued the club’s emphatic march towards the Premier League title with a 5-1 thrashing of Leicester.
Raheem Sterling had given City an early lead on Saturday but Leicester went into the break on level terms thanks to Jamie Vardy’s equaliser.
However, Aguero took centre stage with a finishing masterclass to take his tally in City’s last seven home games to 14 goals as Guardiola’s side moved 16 points clear.
“An authentic legend of this club,” said Guardiola of his prolific Argentine striker.
“In the second half he scored four goals. Sergio is like this, he has a special talent in the box. He’s clinical… especially the third one and fourth one are amazing.”
Aguero now has 28 goals in all competitions this season -– eight more than Sterling.
“So we try to create a lot of chances to score the goals he does, and he always does. Congratulations to him because it’s not easy to score four goals,” added Guardiola.
“When one player is able to score four goals, he deserves all the credit and the nice words. He fights, he plays really good and he scored. We needed it.“
Guardiola believes the win was “one of the best” performances his players have produced since he took over at City but urged them not to let their intensity drop.
“My advice for the players is not to think how many games are left, just to look to the next one,” he said.
“Every time we dropped points this season, the next game we won, which is so, so important. Keeping that consistency is so important for us. If we are able to win the title it will be something special for us.”
Leicester manager Claude Puel brought Riyad Mahrez off the bench in the second half as the winger made his first appearance since a self-imposed exile following the collapse of a deadline day transfer to City.
And Puel claimed both he and the Algeria international will not focus their efforts on the rest of the season without any issues.
“I said before my last press conference it was important for him to come back quick,” Puel said.
“He maintained a good level and it was important he was back in the squad. We have lost time and now it is important to look forward. The transfer window is finished.
“Since the beginning of the transfer window we took a decision with the club, to protect the squad. Riyad came back, and he is an important player.
“Now it is about time to move on together and of course we are stronger with him. It is important to move together with good solidarity and understanding together.”