Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola described Sergio Aguero as a "legend" after he scored his 100th and 101st Etihad Stadium goals in Saturday's 4-0 win over Bournemouth.
Pre-match media reports suggested Aguero, who joined City from Atletico Madrid in 2011, was unhappy about playing under Guardiola and angling for an exit.
But he scored twice, and set up a goal for top scorer Raheem Sterling, as leaders City extended their record run of successive Premier League victories to 17.
"He is a special player, a legend and I am so happy when he plays good and he is scoring goals," Guardiola said.
"I know the players who normally don't play are upset, but all the team deserve to play."
Aguero headed City in front from Fernandinho's cross in the 27th minute and scored with another header in the 79th minute after Sterling had made it 2-0 early in the second half.
Substitute Danilo completed the scoring to set the seal on a first half of the campaign in which City have taken 55 points from a possible 57, having only dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Everton in mid-August.
Despite City's record-breaking feats, Guardiola dismissed the suggestion they have already arrived at perfection.
"In football always you can improve, individually or collectively, so it is not a target to be perfect – it does not exist in the world," he said.
"Just now is a good Merry Christmas."
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