Sergio Aguero has the opportunity to etch himself further into Manchester City folklore after extending his contract with the Premier League champions until 2021 on Friday.
The Argentina striker became City's all-time record scorer when he was on target in last November's 4-2 Champions League triumph at Napoli, surpassing Eric Brook's previous best mark of 177 that stood unchallenged for 79 years.
Since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011, Aguero has firmly established himself as a crowd favourite on the back of countless superb displays and one goal in particular.
Aguero won his third Premier League title last term and has as many EFL Cup medals after opening the scoring in February's 3-0 win over Arsenal at the national stadium, although injuries subsequently made the 30-year-old wait for his latest landmark.
As he and boss Pep Guardiola eye further honours this season, we look back at 10 of the most memorable strikes in his record haul.
Swansea City (H): August 15, 2011
A club-record signing following his reported £38million arrival from Atletico, Aguero announced himself with a stunning substitute cameo in City's opening game of the 2011-12 campaign. Having slid in at close range to double the advantage granted by Edin Dzeko's opener, he inventively set up David Silva's third before saving the best until last. Aguero collected Yaya Toure's flicked pass 30 yards from goal and arrowed a venomous, dipping long-range strike into the corner. It was love at first sight for the City faithful.
Norwich City (A): April 14, 2012
Carlos Tevez going AWOL for a significant chunk of Aguero's debut season in the Premier League meant a forward partnership that promised much was only viewed fleetingly. However, the dynamic Argentine duo belatedly linked up during the closing weeks of the campaign, never more effectively than in a 6-1 demolition of Norwich at Carrow Road. Tevez famously swung an imaginary golf club – in reference to his recently curtailed leisure time in Argentina – upon completing his hat-trick but the first of an Aguero double provided the game's outstanding moment. He latched on to a bouncing return backheel from Tevez, the pair's livewire movement having perplexed the Canaries defence, to thump into the top corner from the edge of the box.
QPR (H): May 13, 2012
An unforgettable moment replayed countless times, both era defining for the league and career defining for its central figure, it is easy to forget what a technically brilliant piece of centre-forward play Aguero's heroic intervention during the dying seconds of the season against QPR was. As the seeming formality of Premier League title glory slipped ever closer to the clutches of rivals Manchester United, the Argentine mimicked many of his country's great attackers by dropping into midfield. Taking possession from Nigel de Jong, an alert Aguero picked out Mario Balotelli with his back to goal. As with much before and after the eccentric Italian's time at the Etihad Stadium, what followed was not simple, but Balotelli managed to complete a return pass while on his backside. Aguero touched the ball into space beyond Taye Taiwo's lunging challenge, keeping his balance as the QPR defender clipped him. "I hit the ball as hard as I could and hoped for the best," Aguero recalled. Cue bedlam.
Liverpool (H): February 3, 2013
City's title defence the following season stuttered as their talisman grappled with fitness niggles but he was at his awe-inspiring best to snatch a draw against Liverpool. Five minutes after a trademark long-ranger from Steven Gerrard put the Reds 2-1 ahead, Aguero scampered after Gareth Barry's raking ball into the right channel and found visiting goalkeeper Pepe Reina hurtling off his line. The City man got there first and hooked home from an improbable angle out on the wing.
Manchester United (A): April 8, 2013
United were on the verge of regaining the title from their neighbours by the time City arrived at Old Trafford for the season's second derby, but Aguero served up a reminder of the misery his final-day exploits inflicted upon them 11 months earlier. There were parallels with that famous strike as he stole in front of Danny Welbeck to receive a pass from Toure and embarked upon a driving diagonal run towards the right-hand corner of the United six-yard box. Phil Jones launched a despairing lunge as his adversary superbly dug out a finish into the roof of the net.
Manchester United (H): September 22, 2013
Aguero set the tone for a rampant City derby display and a season of contrasting fortunes for the Manchester clubs, who were each under new management in the form of Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes. Samir Nasri's backheel found Aleksandar Kolarov and the overlapping left-back fizzed over a fierce cross that Aguero contorted himself brilliantly to convert with a left-footed volley. He claimed a second in a 4-1 win and City would finish the campaign as champions, with United in seventh and Moyes out of a job.
Newcastle United (H): October 3, 2015
The Buenos Aires native's insatiable appetite for goals has never been more clinically demonstrated than when he put an overmatched Newcastle to the sword. City won 6-1 and Aguero scored five of them, all in the space of 20 minutes. Half-time did at least give Steve McClaren's men respite after their tormentor cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic's opener, but a brutal evisceration followed. Aguero's third was his best, when he applied a delicate dinked finish on the end of an irresistible passing triangle featuring Silva, Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne.
Burnley (H): January 2, 2017
Aguero was due to spend the opening fixture of last year recuperating on the bench but Fernandinho's rash lunge on Johann Gudmundsson forced a re-think from Guardiola, who sent on his leading marksman at the break despite the hosts being reduced to 10 men. Gael Clichy gave City a 58th-minute lead and the Blues sprung forward again four minutes later, only for Raheem Sterling to go down under a challenge from Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Aguero was alive to the slim possibilities and got to the ball ahead of a sprawling Heaton, but the angle was very much against him. Nevertheless, he unleashed a powerful strike that clipped the near post and faintly brushed Matthew Lowton on its way into the net. Lowton and fellow Clarets defender Michael Keane were left to look at one another in perplexed fashion on the line.
Leicester City (H): February 10, 2018
Already with the matchball in the bag, Aguero had one more thunderous trick up his sleeve in last month's 5-1 thrashing of Leicester. Phil Foden picked out City's penalty box animal outside his natural habitat 25 yards from goal. Nevertheless, there was only one thing on Aguero's mind as he touched the ball forward and larruped a strike past Kasper Schmeichel that crashed against the underside of the bar and bounced up into the roof of the net.
Arsenal (N): February 25, 2018
City made a nervous start at Wembley before Aguero tuned into the same wavelength as Claudio Bravo. The Chile keeper floated a goal-kick in the direction of his fellow South American, who nudged a dawdling Shkodran Mustafi, bore down on goal and lifted the bouncing ball delicately over the advancing David Ospina. The first trophy of the Guardiola era was scarcely in doubt after that point.
11 de diciembre 2018
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