Sergio Agüero's second goal last night, his 13th in the league, perfectly illustrated why he is the signing of the season and one of the world’s most complete strikers.
Initially blocked by a battalion of opposition players on the edge of the box, he watched the ball go wide to a teammate, made a succession of short steps into a pocket of space amongst the opponent’s six man defence and coolly slotted away the driven cross. It was a masterclass in forward play.
As was the rest of his game. Devilishly quick over the first 10 yards, he runs the channels aggressively, chases every lost cause, is dangerous when he drops deep and caresses the ball through, over and round the opposition defence and, as proved by his first goal when he knocked in Yaya Touré’s cross, he is an arch poacher.
Yet the real performance of the night came from that man Touré, the beast to Agüero’s beauty. Involved in all three goals last night - the first came from his cross-shot, and goals two and three sprung from him breaking up the opposing team’s attempt at a counter-attack - he showed that, on current form, he is the best pivotal central midfielder in England’s top flight and surely in the top three in Europe.
One of the modern game’s great midfield generals, Touré is constantly on the move. But it is the economy of movement that sees him stand head and shoulders above his peers.
His angled support runs into space as his side go forward guarantee they always have an option to start again should they run down a blind alley, he fetches and carries from deep, hits perfectly-weighted pass after perfectly-weighted pass into the wide men and, should the move break down, he is more often than not first to the second ball. Touré then went on to played significant roles into his sides second and third goals.
At times last season, when his side were a player or two short of being genuine contenders, Touré was asked to do two roles. Not only did he have to break up the play but he also had to support the strikers high up the pitch and run beyond them in search of goals.
These assets remain a key part of his game, but with Agüero in such fine form last night, Touré is now playing to his strengths. With these two in tandem, it’s hard to bet against them for the league title.