Manchester City Striker Sergio Aguero's Career so Far in 20 Pictures
Sergio Aguero's two-and-a-half years as a Manchester City player have certainly been eventful. From his dazzling debut, to his fantastic form this season—via one very important goal—his time in England has been special.
He is now considered one of the leading players in Europe, with his mix of incredible pace, superb balance and nerveless finishing ability marking him out as a genuinely world-class striker.
Here's the story of his City career in 20 special pictures.
1: City 4-0 Swansea: Dream Debut
As debuts go, Aguero's was pretty special.
Roberto Mancini left his new £38 million striker on the bench for the first game of the 2011/12 season, but with 30 minutes left to play and City 1-0 up he replaced Nigel de Jong and instantly set about making his mark on the Premier League.
He scored his first from inside the six-yard box after a cross from Micah Richards, before setting up David Silva with a brilliant assist to make it 3-0. Aguero wrapped things up with his second—a powerful long-range effort that flew into the bottom corner.
It was a truly spectacular performance that has proven to be a precursor to other memorable moments.
2: Tottenham 1-5 City: Aguero Scores Beauty
Roberto Mancini's new-look City side was beginning to take shape as City travelled to Spurs, a side with an impressive record against the Blues in the years leading up to this match.
Edin Dzeko grabbed four and Aguero scored a beauty as City won 5-1 to maintain their 100 percent start to the Premier League season. Aguero's was a fine individual goal, demonstrating his balance and poise as he bamboozled Michael Dawson and smashed the ball past Brad Friedel.
Aguero's impact was already becoming very clear.
3: City 3-0 Wigan: First Hat-Trick
Aguero got his first City hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Wigan at the Etihad in September 2011.
His first was a low strike into the bottom corner from inside the 18-yard box after a pass from David Silva, and his second was a similar effort in the second half after a through ball from Samir Nasri. His third demonstrated his coolness under pressure, placing the ball past the onrushing 'keeper after a piece of skill and an assist from Silva that will forever be remembered by those in attendance.
Three exceptional finishes and an excellent all-round performance.
4: Manchester United 1-6 City: A Power Shift Emerging?
City started the 2011/12 season in fine form, but the 6-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford was the result which really announced their arrival as title contenders.
So often in the shadow of their great rivals, this result signalled the potential shift in power City had been craving.
Aguero grabbed City's crucial third, a close-range finish after a superb cross from Micah Richards, as City demonstrated their intent in emphatic style.
5: Norwich 1-6 City: Aguero Grabs Two
This result, which saw City score six superb goals at Carrow Road, cut Manchester United's lead at the top of the table to just two points as City's charge towards the title continued.
Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick, Adam Johnson grabbed one and Aguero two as City ran out 6-1 winners. It increased the pressure on United at the top, and kept City believing that, with four games to go including a match at home with United, they could snatch the title from their rivals.
There were still a few tense moments in store, though...
6: City 1-0 United: Title Race Swings in City's Favour
A Vincent Kompany goal gave City a vital three that saw them climb back above United on goal difference with just two games remaining. It was a tense match with little between the sides, but it was now advantage City in the title race.
Aguero played the full 90 minutes and gave a typically tireless display in what was City's most important in recent years.
7: Newcastle 0-2 City: Blues Edge Closer to the Title
This win put City on the brink of the title.
Yaya Toure scored two goals, the first a neat finish that bent into the bottom corner after a clever one-two with Aguero; the second a brilliant breakaway goal which started with Aguero's winning the ball in his own half and bursting forward.
The 44-year wait was almost over and Aguero had been key to City's progress.
8: City 3-2 Queens Park Rangers: The Title Is City's
The final day of the 2011/12 season and City were at home to Queens Park Rangers desperately searching for the win that would end their 44-year wait for a league title. With City's superior goal difference, three points would seal the title.
Somehow, City found themselves 2-1 down with just stoppage time remaining against a poor QPR side. Dzeko pulled one back two minutes into injury time, before Aguero scored the most famous goal in Premier League history with seconds remaining, his right-footed drive beating Paddy Kenny to seal the title.
The scenes of celebration from a set of fans starved of success until Mancini's arrival will never be forgotten, and Aguero was the hero.
9: Aguero Lifts the Premier League Trophy
At the end of his first season in English football, Aguero lifted the Premier League trophy. It capped a remarkable season that saw City play some wonderful, free-flowing football, culminating in the most dramatic finale to a season there's ever been.
It will never be beaten for excitement and drama.
The Argentine became the first City player since Francis Lee in 1971/72 to score 30 goals in one season, writing his name into club folklore in the process.
10: City 2-2 Liverpool: Aguero Scores Another Remarkable Goal
However, City's form the following season was less impressive as they struggled to play with the same freedom and fluency they had done previously.
The 2-2 draw with Liverpool was one of many disappointing results, but the quality of Aguero's equaliser will live long in the memory of those in attendance. He battled Pepe Reina for the ball before scoring from a seemingly impossible angle. It was a wonderful goal from a wonderful player.
11: Southampton 3-1 City: A Dark Day in City's Limp Title Defence
After the incredible high of City's title win just months earlier, this defeat to Southampton was, for many, the end of their title defence and it was only February.
Mancini's men were comprehensively outplayed by Southampton from start to finish, with Aguero powerless to influence the match. The effort and emotion that it took to win the title was soon replaced by disappointment at City's inability to provide a decent defence of their trophy.
This goes down as one of the lowest points of Aguero's City career.
12: United 1-2 City: Aguero Scores Another Classic Derby Goal
After a disappointing season that brought very little for City to cheer, a win at Old Trafford restored a modicum of pride and made Manchester United wait a little while longer before being crowned champions, and it was Aguero who scored the winner.
It was a brilliant goal that saw him skip past numerous challenges, staying on his feet against all the odds, before smacking the ball high into the night and celebrating in front of the travelling fans.
13: Chelsea 1-2 City: Aguero Puts City into the Final
In April, City met Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and it was Aguero who once again proved to be the hero on the big stage. It was his headed goal from a Gareth Barry cross which proved to be the winner, as City won a thrilling match 2-1 and booked their place in the final against Wigan.
After a season in which they had struggled to mount a decent defence of their Premier League title, the FA Cup was providing City with something to cheer.
14: City 0-1 Wigan: FA Cup Final Heartbreak
After Aguero's winner in the semi-final against Chelsea, many saw the final against a Wigan side set for relegation from the Premier League as a foregone conclusion. However, it was Roberto Martinez's side who lifted the cup—their first major trophy in the club's 81-year history.
Ben Watson's last-minute goal was enough to give the Latics a 1-0 win and end City's trophy hopes for the season.
It was a result which spelled the end of Mancini's reign as manager. The Italian was critical of the City officials in the aftermath of the match after he felt they hadn't done enough to stop speculation about his future before the match. He was sacked three days after the defeat and replaced in the summer by Manuel Pellegrini.
15: Reading 0-2 City: Aguero Finishes Outstanding Move
The first match in the post-Mancini era at City was a largely predictable affair, notable only for the quality of City's opener, finished off neatly by Aguero.
Brian Kidd, in temporary charge, watched on as his side scored one of the finest team goals of the season—one that's gone largely unnoticed.
Dzeko scored the second to complete the win in City's penultimate match of the season.
16: City 4-0 Newcastle: Blues off to a Flyer Under Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini's first competitive game in charge of City ended in a resounding 4-0 win, with Aguero scoring an excellent goal to put City two up inside half an hour.
City pressed high and hard, an early demonstration of their attacking intent that has come to define the Chilean's short time in charge.
17: City 4-1 United: Aguero Hits His 50th Goal for the Club
Aguero scored his 50th goal in a City shirt with his first of two in the impressive 4-1 win over Manchester United earlier this season.
His 50th was a superb volley that set City on their way to a resounding victory—arguably a more dominant performance than the one which saw them win 6-1 at Old Trafford under Mancini. There were so many stars—Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and, of course, City's talisman Aguero.
18: City 5-0 Blackburn: Aguero Makes Goalscoring Return
After a disappointing draw at Ewood Park in the first game, City had to play a replay against the Championship team in the FA Cup third round. It turned out to be a straightforward affair, with City scoring five without reply against a bewildered Blackburn side.
And it was the return of Aguero, who had missed a month through injury, which grabbed the headlines, as he scored just seconds after coming off the bench. His swift return to goalscoring form defied his lack of match sharpness and gave a reminder of what City had been missing.
19: City 4-2 Watford: Aguero Hat-Trick Saves City
With City 2-0 down and being outplayed by Championship side Watford, Aguero kept his side in the cup with a brilliant second-half hat-trick that sealed a 4-2 win.
It kept his side in the hunt for four trophies and saw them draw Chelsea in the next round—a mouthwatering tie that will see one of the favourites exit the competition.
20: Tottenham 1-5 City: Aguero Grabs His 50th Premier League Goal
Aguero's last City appearance came at White Hart Lane, where he scored his 50th Premier League goal during in a fine first-half performance before leaving the field with a hamstring injury.
It took Aguero just 81 games to reach 50 goals—the fifth-quickest in Premier League history.
When he returns from his latest injury setback, expect him to win more silverware and continue breaking records for City.