Sergio Aguero vs Lionel Messi: How does the Manchester City striker compare to the Barcelona star?

Aguero might be the best in England - but he doesn't come close to Messi

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The Independent Football

With three goals in his last two matches, Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is again the most lethal finisher in the Premier League.

Aguero has recovered from his recent scoring drought to regain his composure in front of goal and leads the scoring charts in England's top flight with 17 goals, tied with Chelsea's Diego Costa.

The 26-year-old almost dragged City through to the knockout stages single-handedly, scoring five goals in the group stages including a crucial hat-trick in the decisive late win against Bayern Munich.

Click at the top to enlarge - graphic via Oulala Games

But despite his deadly form and billing as one of the top (if not the best) players in the Premier League, Aguero tonight will be compared to one of the best to ever play - Lionel Messi.

Of course Messi, and great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, operate on a level above everyone else in world football. But when you really look at the numbers, it becomes staggeringly obvious just how big the gap between those two and the rest really is.

While Aguero has been in excellent form for title-chasing City this season, with 22 goals and six assists in 28 games, Messi's form has, again, been mind-blowing.

Messi has 39 goals and 20 assists in 36 matches in all competitions (including the Copa del Rey). Before the defeat to Malaga at the weekend, Messi had scored an incredible 16 goals, 11 assists in his last 13 matches - which all ended in victory - stretching back to 4 January when Luis Enrique left him on the bench for the defeat to Real Sociedad.

Messi also plays in a much more creative way than his national compatriot and is a key part of Barcelona's ability to score goals from all over the pitch - Aguero is much more of a traditional forward, relying on his team-mates to create chances for him.

While Aguero has created just 23 chances for team-mates (not including domestic cups), Messi has created a whopping 84 chances. Luis Suarez may not yet be sticking them away quite as often as he was at Liverpool last season, the Uruguayan has just seven goals this season, Neymar has been in stunning form, with 28 goals from 29 matches in all competitions.

Malaga may have restricted him to just one attempt at goal on Saturday, but stopping Messi will be Manuel Pellegrini's first priority.

Graphics by Zachary Boren