Entertainment, Sports

Riyad Mahrez follows in the footsteps of Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi

Riyad Mahrez’s penalty against Brentford on Thursday night stretched his scoring run to seven successive Manchester City appearances.

The Algeria winger, who has three goals in two games since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, is only the third player to score in seven straight appearances under Pep Guardiola during the Spaniard’s illustrious managerial career.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how Mahrez compares to a pair of high-profile Argentinians.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Barcelona
Lionel Messi enjoyed some astonishing scoring runs for Barcelona (Nick Potts/PA)

October to November 2010 and February to March 2012

Barcelona’s greatest ever goalscorer achieved the feat twice, with his nine-game scoring run in October and November 2010 a record under Guardiola for Mahrez to chase.

He scored all Barca’s goals in a pair of 2-0 wins over Copenhagen and Real Zaragoza and, after skipping the cup tie against lowly AD Ceuta, returned with another brace in a 5-0 win over Sevilla.

He netted in the return fixtures with Copenhagen and Ceuta, sandwiching a league goal against Getafe, and added two against Villarreal and a hat-trick in an 8-0 thumping of Almeria. Panathinaikos were his final victims before a 5-0 Clasico win over Real Madrid in which he settled for a pair of assists.

If that 15-goal salvo seemed impressive, Messi’s second entry on the list almost defies belief – 18 goals in eight games between February 14 and March 24, 2012.

  • Bayer Leverkusen 1 Barcelona 3, Feb 14 – Messi 1
  • Barcelona 5 Valencia 1, Feb19 – Messi 4
  • Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 2, Feb 26 – Messi 1
  • Barcelona 3 Sporting Gijon 1, Mar 3 – DNP
  • Barcelona 7 Bayer Leverkusen 1, Mar 7 – Messi 5
  • Racing Santander 0 Barcelona 2, Mar 11 – Messi 2
  • Sevilla 0 Barcelona 2, Mar 17 – Messi 1
  • Barcelona 5 Granada 3, Mar 20 – Messi 3
  • Mallorca 0 Barcelona 2, Mar 24 – Messi 1

He rounded off a 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen, added four goals in a 5-1 rout of Valencia and scored the winner against Atletico Madrid before sitting out the win over Sporting Gijon.

The break did Messi good as he returned to action with five goals in the Champions League return leg against Leverkusen, adding both goals at Racing Santander and the second in a 2-0 win at Sevilla before his hat-trick earned a 5-3 win over Granada. A goal against Mallorca completed his scoring run as AC Milan shut out Messi and Barca in a 0-0 draw.

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero celebrates his brace against Bournemouth in August 2019
An in-form Sergio Aguero celebrates his brace against Bournemouth (Adam Davy/PA)

May to September 2019

Aguero scored in City’s final Premier League game of 2018-19, a 4-1 win over Brighton, and was then a frustrated unused substitute for the FA Cup final rout of Watford.

He opened the new season with a penalty against West Ham and also scored against Tottenham before successive doubles in wins over Bournemouth and Brighton.

He was on target in the shock 3-2 loss to Norwich and watched the Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk from the bench before getting his goal against Watford, an early spot-kick in an 8-0 win. A scoreless substitute appearance against Everton ended the fun.

Riyad Mahrez

December 2021 to date

Mahrez’s run spans City’s last 12 fixtures, in which he has made only seven appearances due to rotation and international commitments.

His Champions League consolation against Leipzig offered little indication of what was to come, particularly when he was then unused against Wolves, but he played his part in City’s free-scoring Christmas period with a goal in each game as they beat Leeds 7-0, Newcastle 4-0 and Leicester 6-3.

He followed up his penalty against the Foxes with another against Arsenal before joining up with Algeria, and returned with an FA Cup brace against Fulham and a fourth penalty in as many appearances on Thursday night.

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