Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick against Arsenal. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick against Arsenal. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Aguero hits hat-trick to close Liverpool gap

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-1 to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to just two points.

The Argentina striker opened the scoring after one minute, added a second just before halftime and finished off Arsenal with his third on the hour mark. The result puts pressure on Liverpool, who play away to West Ham.

Earlier, Manchester United boosted their hopes of a top-four finish with a 1-0 win at Leicester in the early kick-off but it was City and Aguero who grabbed the headlines.

Just as they had done against Newcastle, City were ahead within a minute as Aguero opened the scoring, on 46 seconds.

When Laurent Koscielny headed an equaliser 10 minutes later, City fans might have feared a repeat of the Newcastle result, when the visitors came back to win.

But Aguero made sure their concerns were only fleeting, scoring his second just before the halftime whistle.

The second half was all City and Aguero scored his 20th goal of the season to complete his hat-trick.

United also enjoyed a good day, a 1-0 win at Leicester enough to lift them above Arsenal into fifth, just two points behind Chelsea.

Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game after nine minutes and United hung on in the second half, with goalkeeper David De Gea making a number of good saves.

The win was United's ninth under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Norwegian admitted it had been hard going.

"Our attitude was spot on," he said. "Our lads sacrificed everything they had. They know they can do better than this but a clean sheet is always a foundation to build on."

Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire missed late chances to equalise and Leicester, who held leaders Liverpool last time out, have now gone six games without a win and remain 11th.

"It was a shame, Leicester manager Claude Puel said.

"In the second half we showed a lot of things with more desire and quality in our play. We put them under pressure at the end of the game but it was not enough."

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