Sergio Aguero hopes his hat-trick against Bayern Munich can spark Manchester City’s season into life.
The Argentine’s match-winning performance on Tuesday enhanced City’s hopes of making the Champions League knockout stage and saw team-mates and pundits scrambling to bracket him with the world’s best players.
Aguero has 17 goals in 18 appearances this season, but champions City are already eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea and Aguero said: "It is important to carry on like this and keep the results coming.
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"It was important to win. Apart from my goals the three points were vital, so we’re delighted. I am happy with my form. This season things are going well for me."
In the aftermath of the Bayern win Manuel Pellegrini repeated his claim that Aguero is now among the top five players in the game, while Glenn Hoddle went further.
The Sky Sports expert now regards Aguero and Chelsea striker Diego Costa as the best out-and-out finishers in football. He said: "Where would City be in the Premier League without him? I’m not sure what position they would be in. I’m pretty sure they’d be out of the Champions League without this little man."
Even Aguero’s team-mates concede he is dragging up City’s average, and Bacary Sagna said: I think we will have to follow his steps. He showed the right example.
"He keeps fighting and in front of goal he is clinical. As long as he keeps scoring we can be happy."
Aguero’s goals have not yet spared City a third straight group stage elimination in the Champions League, but victory at Roma next month will be enough for qualification if CSKA Moscow do not pull off a surprise win in Munich.
"We’ve a chance now in Rome to qualify," he said. "It’s a question of going there and winning and just thinking about ourselves."