Manchester City returned to the Etihad as reigning Premier League champions with six goals, an emphatic victory and the threat of yet more dominant wins to come, laying waste to a hapless Huddersfield Town to move top of the table. In their first outing since news of Kevin De Bruyne’s three-month lay-off with a knee injury, City showed no signs of missing their most influential player. Sergio Aguero’s ninth Premier League hat-trick, goals for Gabriel Jesus and David Silva and a Terence Kongolo own goal gave Pep Guardiola’s side a resounding victory. City were helped, especially in the first half, by an erratic showing from Huddersfield’s goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who spent the last four years as a reserve at Leicester City and will be disappointed with his role in City’s first three goals. All three were easily preventable. Such was the disparity between these two sides, however, even a goalkeeper at the very top of his game could not have prevented defeat. Sergio Aguero lofts home his first Wagner’s side frustrated the champions on this ground back in May, spoiling City’s coronation by claiming a hard-fought goalless draw. Yet in a defence where there was organisation three months earlier, chaos reigned. Huddersfield’s Steve Mounié almost opened the scoring in the wrong net after just two minutes, slicing an attempted clearance onto the top of his own crossbar. Jesus spurned two presentable opportunities in a short, frantic period of City pressure that followed. Gradually, Huddersfield regained their composure and slowed the rate of attacks, but with City patiently dominating the ball in their visitors’ territory, it became a question of when their breakthrough would not come, not if. Hamer’s first error of the afternoon gifted them it. Gabriel Jesus got on the scoresheet Ederson, Hamer’s opposite number, was the architect, picking Aguero’s diagonal run out brilliantly from a goal kick. Christopher Schindler held Aguero up but Hamer’s mindless decision to rush off his line left City’s all-time leading scorer with more than enough space to aim at. One goal up, numbers two and three quickly followed and the adventurous Benjamin Mendy was key to both. One typical, surging run down the left from his own half and a neat one-two put him in on goal, only to be dispossessed. Jesus followed up immediately, beating Hamer at the near post. Aguero celebrates his second
Four minutes later, a low cross from Mendy’s wicked left foot proved too much for Hamer to handle, quite literally. In attempting to collect the ball, he instead spilled it, providing Aguero with a chance to add his second of the afternoon. The Argentine would make no such mistake.
“We want 10,” chanted the Etihad, perhaps requesting a repeat of City’s 10-1 victory in this fixture in 1987, which remains Huddersfield’s record league defeat. Helpfully, Huddersfield soon got their one. Stankovic, who spent last season sidelined through injury, tapped in Mounié’s flick-on. Jon Gorenc Stanković pulled one back
It was the travelling support’s turn to make their voices heard, promising to “win 4-3” but Silva rendered that scoreline an impossibility at the start of the second half with an expertly-taken free-kick whipped into Hamer’s top left-hand corner, leaving the Huddersfield goalkeeper rooted to his spot. Aguero completed his hat-trick a quarter-of-an-hour from time with a deft touch. Again, Mendy was the provider but this time, the cross fell a little awkwardly for its intended target. No matter. Aguero stabbed the ball into the ground with the outside of his boot, sending it spinning backwards, around Hamer and in. David Silva scored a sublime free-kick
There was still time for another. Leroy Sané, Aguero’s late replacement, darted through on goal from the left flank, hoping to add his name to the scoresheet, but his poke at goal was blocked by Hamer’s body. Kongolo could not get out of the way in enough time and inadvertently diverted the ball in. Leroy Sane created the sixth late on.