Manchester City's Sergio Aguero leaves the pitch with the ball after scoring a hat trick in their Premier League game against Aston Villa at Villa Park in Birmingham on Sunday. Photo: Rui Vieira/AP

BIRMINGHAM – Sergio Aguero became the most prolific foreign goalscorer in Premier League history with a hat-trick as Manchester City thrashed Aston Villa 6-1 to reclaim second place on Sunday.

The Argentine striker struck City's third, fifth and sixth goals at Villa Park to take his league tally to 177, two more than Frenchman Thierry Henry managed for Arsenal and fourth on the all-time list alongside Frank Lampard.

City's resounding victory, in which Riyad Mahrez also scored twice and Gabriel Jesus once, meant they moved above Leicester City and trimmed Liverpool's lead to 14 points, although Liverpool have played a game less.

Mahrez's dribble and shot opened the scoring in the 18th minute and the Algerian struck again six minutes later.

Champions City's slick football was too much for Villa who had dropped into the relegation zone before kickoff after Watford's win at Bournemouth.

Aguero's fierce strike from outside the area made it 3-0 in the 28th minute before Jesus tapped in a fourth on the stroke of halftime after a stunning pass by Kevin De Bruyne.

A razor-sharp Aguero moved clear of Henry with a neat finish in the 58th minute and continued to torment a sorry home side by completing his 12th Premier League hat-trick in the 81st minute.

Villa, who have fallen to third from bottom, did not manage a shot on target until they were awarded a stoppage-time penalty that was tucked away by Anwar El Ghazi.

Reuters