Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed that Sergio Aguero required half-time treatment before he stunningly put Newcastle United to the sword at the Etihad Stadium.
The Argentina striker headed City level after Aleksandar Mitrovic opened the scoring for the visitors, but he went to the dressing room in pain having sustained a kick to the hamstring.
Pellegrini said Aguero was also nursing an injury from the 2-1 midweek win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League, where he scored a last-minute winner from the penalty spot.
But the 27-year-old put his ailments to one side to complete a remarkable five-goal haul by the 62nd minute – the fifth player to achieve the feat in the Premier League era.
“Maybe it was very good treatment,” Pellegrini joked in his post-match press conference when discussing the decision to substitute Aguero midway through the second half.
“He had a kick in his hamstring so it was important just to relax him a little bit because he was not 100 per cent comfortable.
“We don’t know if he could have scored more goals, but we know he had an important kick from Wednesday in Germany.
“He was having some treatment during half-time, so I think to give him more minutes… maybe he can score one or two goals more, but we need to have precaution about his kick because after that he can be injured.”
Aguero won the Golden Boot in the Premier League last season, but had been struggling for his best form this time around.
His previous goal from open play came in City’s second match of the season against Chelsea and Pellegrini was delighted to see the star forward back to his imperious best.
“I am very happy for Kun because he deserves it,” added the Chilean. “He is always the player that makes the difference but for different reasons.
“In the last game he missed important chance but he was calm and that was very clever for him to be calm.
“To see him play at the level he plays, it is not just me who must be happy. I think that all the fans [are happy] because really he is a different player.
“Kun is always calm but I think he was very, very happy. He is a scoring player and he wants to be the top scoring player – he was not scoring the amount of goals that he normally does.
“He was very happy and I hope that he will continue in the same way.”