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Aguero powers Manchester City to 17th straight win
Nineteen games, 18 wins, one draw and 55 from a possible 57 points. Those statistics are Pep Guardiola’s present to his bosses at Manchester City as Christmas approaches. On Saturday at the Etihad, Bournemouth found no yuletide cheer as they were slaughtered 4-0.
The Emirati businessmen behind City have spent lavishly to draft in some of the world’s best players and one of the most innovative coaches.
The belief in 47-year-old Guardiola – after a trophyless first season – is being handsomely rewarded.
City have won a record 17 Premier League games on the trot. They have scored 60 goals in their romp to the top and conceded only 12 times.
Sergio Aguero was a 45 million euro signing in July 2011 and more than six years on, the 29-year-old is still a key striker. He bagged a brace in the destruction of Bournemouth. The strikes were the Argentine’s 100th and 101st goal in front of the faithful.
The prelude to Saturday's contest was dogged by talk of Aguero's supposed discontent over Guardiola’s policy of rotating the players who start the match.
Aguero, City’s all-time leading scorer, is reported to have held talks with the club owner Khaldoon Al Mubarak. But he showed few traces of revolt in his goal studded performance.
"I respect Sergio a lot, about all he has done and what he will do in the future," said Guardiola. "He is a legend. He will decide absolutely everything about his life and his future. I'm delighted to have him here.
"I am so happy when he plays good and he is scoring goals. I know the players who normally don't play are upset but all the team deserve to play."
Aguero's first goal was a clinically taken diving header after 27 minutes following a Fernandinho cross. Aguero then turned provider. He set up Raheem Sterling who doubled the lead in the 53rd minute.
Aguero headed in City's third 11 minutes from time and substitute Danilo added the gloss in the 85th minute to inflict an 11th defeat on Bournemouth who fall into the relegation zone after Newcastle United won 3-2 at West Ham United.
"City are an outstanding team and very difficult to play against," said Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. "We came with a plan to stay in the game then maybe have a go.
"For long periods we were good. Their first goal came from our mistake, which was disappointing. The second goal was the killer.”
Howe added: "We try to approach every game looking to win. But if you get it wrong here, they have the players to expose it.”