MANCHESTER, England — Sergio Aguero guided Manchester City to another hammering of Tottenham on Saturday, scoring all of the champions' goals in a 4-1 victory to back up the Spurs' coach assertion that the striker is the "Mozart" of football.
Aguero scored twice in each half in a dazzling performance at Etihad Stadium to move level with Chelsea striker Diego Costa as the Premier League's top scorer with nine goals.
"I think he demonstrated why people say he is one of the best strikers in the world," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.
One of those people is Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who also said on the eve of the game that watching his Argentine compatriot Aguero play "is like classical music in my head . it's like Mozart."
Pochettino's defense also seemed mesmerized by Aguero, who could have scored many more but missed a first-half penalty and squandered a slew of other chances in an end-to-end game that featured four penalties and a red card to Spurs center back Federico Fazio.
City beat Tottenham 6-0 and 5-1 last season, so has scored 15 goals against the north Londoners in their last three meetings.
Aguero opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a low drive and restored City's lead from the penalty spot in the 20th after Christian Eriksen had equalized.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart saved a penalty from Roberto Soldado in the 62nd before Aguero scored in the 68th — from the spot after Fazio was red-carded for pulling back the striker — and the 75th.
"Aguero had his best day," Pochettino said.
The hosts moved two points behind league leader Chelsea, which visits Crystal Palace later Saturday.
The only negative for City at the Etihad was the sight of midfielder Frank Lampard being carried off on a stretcher in the first half with an apparent left thigh injury.
Aguero has scored 61 goals in 95 league games for City, making him the club's all-time top scorer in the Premier League era.
He started on his own up front and tormented Spurs center backs Fazio and Younes Kaboul, opening the scoring when he peeled away to receive a short pass from Lampard, created some space for himself and blasted a low, angle shot into the corner.
Within two minutes, Spurs were level after capitalizing on a mistake from holding midfielder Fernando, who was dispossessed in his own half. Soldado picked up the loose ball and fed Eriksen, whose rising shot clipped the foot of Hart and went in off the crossbar.
City was back in front when Lampard went down under a challenge by Erik Lamela and Aguero sent goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot. Lloris guessed right 11 minutes later, though, to pat away Aguero's penalty that was awarded when David Silva was tripped by Kaboul.
By then, Lampard had been carried off after getting hurt in a sliding challenge and looked in real pain as he disappeared down the tunnel on a stretcher. Pellegrini said Lampard had a "muscle" injury and would be assessed.
Despite City's dominance, Tottenham remained dangerous going forward and could have pulled level when Soldado was tripped by Martin Demichelis as he surged into the area. The Spanish striker took the penalty himself but it was weak and Hart tipped the ball aside.
Aguero continued to torment Spurs' defense and Fazio, making his league debut, was dismissed after pulling back the striker as he bore down on a cross from Jesus Navas.
Aguero converted his penalty into the corner and capped a brilliant performance by running onto a quick free kick from Fernandinho, cutting inside substitute Jan Vertonghen and curling a low, left-foot shot into the corner.