Given Manchester City were expected to leave Champions League after today’s game in Barcelona, the most disappointing outcome for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup would have been a serious injury compounding their elimination. Now, escorted out of the competition by today’s 2-1 loss, the Citizens are playing a wait-and-see game on their worst case scenario after striker Sergio Agüero was forced off at the end of Wednesday’s first half.
The Argentine international has already served two spells on the sidelines this season, with calf and hamstring injuries limiting him to 15 league starts. After Wednesday game in Spain, however, assistant coach Rubén Cousillas said Agüero’s new ailment wasn’t “serious.”
From the BBC:
“We don’t think it’s anything serious. He felt some muscle pain but it was more a precaution than anything else,” Cousillas said.
“It’s too early to know how long he’ll be out. We’ll do some tests to assess the injury.”
There’ve been too many times where an minor problem turned into a major concern for Manchester City fans to be too assured by Cousillas’s words. Even if the assistant’s speculation does prove true, a third leg injury of the season speaks to Agüero’s overall health. Either he’s been unlucky, has become unexpectedly injury prone, or is seeing issues cascade into new ailments.
Regardless, Manchester City fans are not the only ones watching. Three months from this summer’s World Cup, Argentina fans will be monitoring the health of one of their team’s key players. If Agüero carries his nagging injuries into Brazil, it could affect the Albiceleste’s changes of claiming a third title.
In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.
Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.
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One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.
In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.
From the BBC:
“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.
“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”
The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.
What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.
Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.
Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.
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The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.
From the BBC:
Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.
Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.