Manchester City have virtually no hope of retaining the Premier League title this season. Their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday put them 13 points behind Liverpool, who have two games in hand on the defending champions. Pep Guardiola has admitted as much, saying that –
“Being so far away means it’s not interesting to look at what Liverpool do…We are far away – we drop points, we concede and didn’t win games. This game is about the results and I’m glad we score, continue to attack quite well but the reality is the reality, so no frustration. They’ve won 21 of 22 games and they’d be leading all the leagues around the world. The target was to catch Leicester [in second] and now it’s to maintain this. The team show this season that still we are going to [try and] do it.”
As Guardiola says, City’s target this season is to finish as the ‘best of the rest’ in the league – which will be no easy task given Leicester City’s form. City are considered almost certain to finish second though, reflected by the 1/50 odds offered by some bookmakers. Thus, all is not lost for the Citizens, as they are now able to turn their focus towards the Champions League, where despite a tough round-of-16 tie against Real Madrid, they are priced at 7/2 by some bookmakers, while in the league, their Argentinian talisman continues to rack up the goals and records.
Sergio Agüero scored a brace in the aforementioned draw with Palace to go ahead of Frank Lampard on the Premier League’s all-time goalscoring charts with 179 goals. The Argentinian is now fourth on this list, behind only Andy Cole (187 goals), Wayne Rooney (208 goals) and Andy Shearer (260 goals). He will probably overtake Cole, but Rooney and Shearer will remain out of reach unless he stays in England for another four to five seasons, which looks unlikely given his age. In any case though, Agüero is a legitimate contender to be the best striker the Premier League has seen due to his consistency.
Agüero has a goals/games ratio of 0.70 over more than eight seasons in the league – this being his ninth campaign on these shores. This is the best record of anyone to have played in the Premier League, and shows just how deadly a finisher he has been for City. Before the Palace game, he had scored a goal at an average of 106 minutes per goal, comfortably ahead of Harry Kane (121 minutes per goal) in second place, when looking at players to have scored over 40 goals in the Premier League. He is on course for his sixth 20-goal plus season in the league, and is second to Jamie Vardy in the Golden Boot race. The bookies have him at 2/1 favourites now to win the Golden Boot, with Vardy at 5/2, and it is truly astonishing that he has only won it once so far in his career. Fans wanting to back the Argentinian can do so at freebets.co.uk – here you can find the top free bets aggregator in the UK.
Nevertheless, these numbers, along with his resurgence to see off Gabriel Jesus’ challenge and adaptation to Guardiola’s requirements, all while keeping up the relentless goalscoring, mean that he is probably the best striker of the Premier League era.