May 1, 2021
Sergio Aguero has been dogged by injuries and exit stories surrounding him for months. Manchester City declaring earlier in the year that they won’t be renewing the contract of the Argentine after a 10-year stay at the Etihad was supposed to dampen his morale at the club.
But his superb display on Saturday in which he scored a stunning goal to help the Cityzens to within touching distance of the Premier League title showed that the zeal to play his role as one of the game’s most consummate finishers is still as sharp as ever.
Aguero had opened the scoring in the 57th minute to finally shatter a resilient Crystal Palace away at the Selhurst Park before teammate Ferlan Torres killed off the game with a second goal just two minutes later.
On the strength of those two strikes which shot City’s total points haul in this season’s campaign to 80, they could be declared champions this weekend if contenders like Manchester United falter against Liverpool in a corresponding fixture on Sunday.
Fresh from a brilliant outing in which they beat PSG 2-1 away in the UEFA Champions League, manager Pep Guardiola had opted for a 4-4-1-1 formation, deploying Aguero in a support striker role behind Gabriel Jesus, while resting players like Kevin de Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez and others.
But after what seemed a barren first half in which the home team tried everything to stifle the visitors, Aguero finally broke the deadlock to put City on the way to victory.
It was a very excited Guardiola who would shower encomiums on the player who will be leaving at the end of the season.
“How many times has he done it?”, Guardiola referring to Aguero’s wonder goal, said.
“What a goal, what a player and what a man. I’m completely in love with him. The people cannot believe it but we’ve missed him. We haven’t been able to use him many times, but maybe we got him back at the right time. He knows he has a special quality,” he added.
City welcome PSG to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday for the return leg of their semi-final clash. With two away goals, City almost look certain of reaching their first final under Guardiola as manager.
With Aguero just beginning to get his sharpness in front of goal back, he could be the joker as City try to cement a fantastic season with a treble.
A win for City means Aguero will be leaving the club on a high.