Tuesday 26 August 2014
Sergio Aguero confirmed his status as the Barclays Premier League's most efficient striker on Monday night by scoring in Manchester City's 3-1 victory over Liverpool.
The Argentina striker, who did not start the match at the Etihad Stadium, took just 23 seconds to beat Simon Mignolet after coming on as a second-half replacement for the injured Edin Dzeko, and in so doing improved his record of the best minutes-to-goal ratio of any player in the history of the Barclays Premier League.
"His goal was not luck – he is working very hard during the week and this is an important reward"
The 26-year-old has scored 54 goals in 89 Barclays Premier League appearances at a ratio of a goal every 113.13 minutes, which is just under nine minutes better than the record of a goal every 121.79 minutes set by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
The Barclays Premier League champions have made an ominous statement of intent this season with back-to-back victories over Newcastle and Liverpool, and City’s rivals will be all too aware that Aguero has yet to gain full match fitness after an injury-affected World Cup with Argentina that has restricted him to two appearances in the top flight from the bench to date.
Not that the former Atletico Madrid forward is any the less efficient for not having started a match yet. Aguero has scored in both matches, and City manager Manuel Pellegini has no plans to rush him back.
|Top 20 Minutes-per-goal ratios in BPL|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||128.19||95||150|
|Robin van Persie||134.81||134||254|
|Ole Gunnar Solskjaer||153.04||91||235|
"Aguero is a very special player for us and it is important for us that he is fit," said Pellegrini on Monday night. "It was good that the first ball he touched [against Liverpool] was a goal. That was not luck. He is working very hard during the week and this is an important reward.
"But his preparation is different to others. He had a difficult second part to the year last season and an injury at the World Cup. It is important he has a good preparation and that is why he is now in between pre-season and the season. A lot of other players arrived late and we will see how we can do it so they can be 100 per cent fit. We will maybe see after the international break."
Should Aguero continue at his present scoring rate he stands to better his best scoring season when he produced 23 goals in 34 BPL appearances in the title-winning 2011/12 campaign.
Aguero tops a goals-per-minute ratio list which includes likely suspects such as Ruud van Nistelrooy, Alan Shearer and Luis Suarez but there are also four current BPL players among the top seven. They include Robin van Persie (134.81 minutes per goal), Edin Dzeko (136.96), and Daniel Sturridge (137.72). The present-day BPL player with the next best minute-to-goal ratio after Aguero is Manchester United's Javier Hernandez, who boasts one strike for every 128.19 minutes played.