The perfect partnership?

Posted by Martin Laurence,

Sergio Aguero celebrates one of Manchester City's seven goals against NorwichAPSergio Aguero celebrates one of Manchester City's seven goals against Norwich

There was no doubt that the game of the weekend in the Premier League was at the Emirates on Saturday, but while the Gunners were impressive once more in their dismissal of high-flying Liverpool, we saw the performance of the season thus far at the Etihad.

The last team to win away at Manchester City was Norwich on the final day of last season but, as far as goals are concerned, the Canaries have become the complete opposite of a bogey team for the 2011-12 champions. Going into the most recent encounter between the two sides, City had scored 17 goals in four Premier League meetings following the East Anglians' return to the top flight. They'd add another seven to that tally in a complete humiliation of Chris Hughton's underwhelming side this weekend.

As much as the visitors were woeful on the day, City were at their supreme best after capitalising on a fortuitous opener that looped over John Ruddy off of teammate Brad Johnson. The Norwich keeper had a day to forget, while much of the focus was on Manuel Pellegrini's decision to drop Joe Hart at the opposite end. The England international's replacement, Costel Pantilimon, was forced into just one save from an Anthony Pilkington effort outside of the box, so wasn't kept too busy.

While the goals were flowing at the other end with consummate ease, City's defensive display deserved credit, with just one of the away side's seven efforts coming from inside the hosts' penalty area. As far as Premier League debuts go, Romanian Pantilimon couldn't have wished for an easier outing.

It was, however, at the business end where much of the limelight was cast over the Citizens, and rightly so. Sergio Aguero is the man in form right now and he was at his very best again on Saturday, picking up a perfect rating of 10, having scored with one of his nine efforts at goal and picking up two assists in the game.

The Argentine has now scored 10 goals in his past eight appearances across the league and Champions League and has joined Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge at the top of the scoring charts this season (eight in the league). Although the 25-year-old is arguably in the form of his career, however, his supporting cast deserve a great deal of credit too.

Sergio AgueroGettyImagesSergio Aguero has found success with the Spaniard up front.

It's no coincidence that in the five matches in which Aguero has been paired up front from the start with summer signing Alvaro Negredo, he has scored in each game (eight in total). The Spaniard, while not as prolific, has been the perfect foil for City's top scorer, netting twice himself in those matches and picking up three assists -- two of which have teed up his strike partner. It has tended to be the case that "big man" Negredo creates for "little man" Aguero, though the favour was returned in style in a beautiful team move for City's fourth at the weekend.

That moves us on nicely to another key factor in Aguero's resurgence: after a somewhat disappointing campaign last season, any beautiful team move involving Manchester City this year sees David Silva generally play his part. Negredo's compatriot struggled with injuries at the beginning of the season but now, fully fit, he is up to his usual mastery in and around the box.

Again you can attribute a certain amount of Aguero and City's form in general in front of goal to the return of Silva. Despite missing three matches, the Spaniard has made the most key passes in the Premier League this season (27), picking up three assists in turn. Since his return to the starting lineup in October from injury, the 27-year-old has started five matches in the league and Champions League combined, setting up goals for Aguero in the wins over Everton and West Ham, with nine of his 22 key passes in that time setting up a chance for the Argentinean.

Aguero is quite rightly stealing the headlines right now, but despite setting up the goals for the aforementioned Spain internationals to score this weekend, he has plenty to thank both Negredo and Silva for.

All statistics courtesy of, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.