Sergio Aguero

Aguero
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Aguero has knee surgery; Guardiola to focus on FA Cup

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Sergio Aguero has had knee surgery, Man City confirmed.

Aguero, 32, travelled to Barcelona to meet with a specialist after he injured his left knee in the 5-0 win against Burnley on Monday.

In an innocuous incident where he won a penalty kick right on half time, Aguero was clipped by Ben Mee and hobbled off the pitch immediately.

Guardiola revealed that Aguero had been struggling with a knee injury and when asked if the Argentina striker will be ready for the Champions League games in August he said he didn’t know.

Aguero sent out a message from his hospital bed in Barcelona, saying the surgery was a success.

“Everything went well and I will soon start with the recovery. Thank you very much to Dr. Cugat and his team and to all for so much support,” Aguero said.

This is a big blow for Man City. To lose your all-time leading goalscorer in such a bizarre way is a blow and especially as Guardiola has Aymeric Laporte, Leroy Sane and others now fully fit for the final weeks of the season.

Winning the Champions League is Man City’s main aim and if they don’t have Aguero, everything is on Gabriel Jesus’ shoulders to deliver the goals which will make them champions of Europe.

As for the rest of the Premier League season, it appears that Guardiola will focus on winning more trophies than delaying Liverpool’s title win for as long as possible.

Man City head to Newcastle on Sunday to play in their FA Cup quarterfinal, as they aim to retain their trophy as they’ve now won eight of the last nine trophies available in the domestic game.

Speaking ahead of Man City’s trip to Chelsea Thursday (start time, 3:15pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Guardiola suggested he will rest players for that game and prioritize the FA Cup.

“We can’t deny that we have one eye on Newcastle,” Guardiola said. “Chelsea and Liverpool are prestigious and important games but Newcastle is our game. A final for us.”

So, that means if Liverpool beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday and Man City fail to win at Chelsea on Thursday, Liverpool will be crowned Premier League champions.

It is correct for Pep to focus on how he can win as many trophies as possible and as soon as a top four place is guaranteed, he should rest his star players for the Premier League and focus fully on the FA Cup and Champions League. People won’t like it but Guardiola is a serial winner and wants to win everything other than the Premier League title.

That will be music to the ears of Liverpool fans who hope to be celebrating a first title win in 30 years after Chelsea v. Man City on Thursday.

Aguero injury ‘does not look good’

Aguero injury
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Sergio Aguero injury. Those three words are something Man City’s fans never want to hear together.

Aguero, 32, limped off in the first half of their 5-0 win against Burnley on Monday as he injured his left knee when winning a penalty kick right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The injury itself seemed like an innocuous one. There was little contact from Ben Mee on Aguero but Man City’s all-time leading goalscorer walked off the pitch and hobbled straight down the tunnel.

Pep Guardiola gave an update on the Aguero injury after the game and it wasn’t a positive one, as the striker is now heading to Barcelona to see a specialist.

“It doesn’t look good. Something in the knee and we will see tomorrow. He felt something in his knee. He struggled in the last month with some pain in his knee,” Guardiola said.

Now, we know Man City have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking talent. They brought Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane off the bench agains Burnley and rested Raheem Sterling. They aren’t going to win the Premier League (although they keep delaying Liverpool’s title win) and they will finish in second place in the table.

Aguero sent out the following message:

All of their focus will now switch to early August when the Champions League resumes and it would be understandable if Aguero is rested and saved until then.

Man City badly want to win the Champions League and they have a 2-1 first leg lead in their last 16 clash against Real Madrid before the mini-tournament in Lisbon as they hope to be in the quarterfinals, semifinal and final. With the verdict of their appeal against their two-year UEFA ban set to be released in July, they will know before their UCL campaign continues this season whether or not they will be banned in the future.

Aguero will be key to them winning the Champions League so don’t be surprised if he’s rested for the Premier League and FA Cup games over the next two to three weeks, at least.

Premier League Golden Boot race

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Will England have a new name on an illustrious list when the Premier League Golden Boot race is run next month?

Every winner since the 2014-15 season is still within a rich vein of form from renewed acquaintances. with the honor, but six of the league’s top ten scorers would be first time top dogs on the PL season goals list.

[ MORE: Werner to Chelsea official ]

That includes the leader, Jamie Vardy. The next three names on the list are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, and Sergio Aguero, and they all have a Golden Boot in their lockers.


Jamie Vardy, Leicester City (19)

As Vardy goes, so do the Foxes. He scored at least one goal in every match of Leicester’s eight-match winning streak this fall but his brace against Villa on March 9 was his lone appearance on the dance card since the calendar turned to 2020. Four of Vardy’s goals have been penalties, so he’s got that going for him if the VAR is kind to Leicester.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (17)

Aubameyang isn’t having his best year, no doubt down to some inconsistency from his playing partners. Arsenal still faces three of four PL clubs to have conceded 50 or more goals this season.

Mohammed Salah, Liverpool, and Sergio Aguero, Man City (16)

Aguero has won this award before and he’s among the favorites to do it again given he’s three goals from the top despite playing at least 800 fewer minutes then the men level or ahead of him.

Throw in the fact that City’s 76 expected goals are 14 higher than the field and you’ve got the recipe for something special. Aguero and teammate Gabriel Jesus are the runaway leaders for xG/90 amongst qualified players.

Salah’s been very good since the start of December, scoring 10 of his goals and adding three assists in that span. He’s the league leader in expected goals (15.54) just ahead of snakebit teammate Roberto Firmino (15.49 xG, 8 goals).

Danny Ings, Southampton (15)

Like Vardy, it would be silly to rule out the clear target man for a Premier League club. Ings has only scored once in his last seven as Saints hit a rough patch before the coronavirus pause, but maybe time’s healed his form.

Marcus Rashford, Man Utd, and Sadio Mane, Liverpool (14)

Rashford has been a monster when healthy and trails only Aguero and Jesus in xG per game. He’s also United’s penalty taker so there’s that.

Mane’s a powerful force but he’s also in the business of sharing goals at Liverpool. It’s difficult to project him winning the Premier League Golden Boot race.

The field (13 or fewer)

13 goals
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton
Raul Jimenez, Wolves
Tammy Abraham, Chelsea

12 goals
Raheem Sterling, Man City

11 goals
Anthony Martial, Man Utd
Chris Wood, Burnley
Harry Kane, Spurs
Teemu Pukki, Norwich City

10. goals
Gabriel Jesus, Man City
Richarlison, Everton

Premier League On This Day: Aguero, stoppage time, silverware (video)

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It’s been exactly eight years since the most famous goal in Premier League history.

That’s saying something, yes, but how many moments in the history of our beloved sport have inspired a commentator to cry something like “Where does football go from here?”

And how many times has that statement somehow not felt like hyperbole?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time goal on the final day of the season gave Manchester City a win over Queens Park Rangers and the Premier League title. The 3-2 win gave City the title on goal differential.

The above gives you the bones of the beast, but fails to note so many things:

  • City won its first top-flight title since 1967-68.
  • The crown was ripped out of the hands of rivals Manchester United.
  • Roberto Mancini’s City did the thing in “Fergie Time” to sting Fergie himself.
  • City had seemingly thrown away the crown just six weeks earlier when they completed a 1-2-2 run with a 1-0 loss to Arsenal on a late Mikel Arteta goal.

The goal was Aguero’s 23rd of the Premier League season, his first year in England’s top flight. He’d go on to have a pretty substantial career in the PL, but regardless this would’ve been enough to cement his status as an icon.

United beat Sunderland 1-0 moments before Aguero’s goal to climb into first place, but that didn’t last. Mario Balotelli’s pass to Aguero and the Argentine’s calm under pressure in dispatching yet another near post rocket was sincerely remarkable.

Man City grabs late winner at Leicester City

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Gabriel Jesus‘ 80th-minute goal gave Manchester City a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The three points give Man City 57 on the season, seven more than third-place Leicester City. Liverpool leads the league with 76 points and a match-in-hand.


Three things we learned

1. Ederson flashpoint: James Maddison swept a cross over the Man City back line and Iheanacho raced into the 18 to head it on goal. Iheanacho didn’t get much of it and Ederson did before his parry landed flush with Iheanacho’s chin. Social media was a buzz with cries for a red card, but it’s difficult to see what Ederson could’ve done other than allow Iheanacho to head home.

2. Moral victory for Leicester in loss: Brendan Rodgers‘ men were absolutely clobbered in three previous matches with their perceived top three rivals, but Leicester was good money for a point on Saturday. The Foxes should be encouraged despite the death of their top two hopes. Still holding a 10-point lead on fifth and sixth, Leicester may well focus a bit more on the FA Cup.

3. Striker swap pays off: Aguero had one goal ruled out for offside and saw his penalty saved by Ederson, and Guardiola’s decision to give Gabriel Jesus a run paid off within minutes. The soon-to-be 23-year-old Brazilian striker got his 10th goal of the PL season to go with five assists when he swept a low shot past Schmeichel. His 17 goals in all competitions have him four goals from equalling his best Man City campaign.

Man of the Match: Leicester fans won’t like it, but ex-Foxes star Riyad Mahrez was everywhere. He edges six-save Kasper Schmeichel, as well as Ricardo Pereira and Rodri.


Vardy let Man City off the hook for a giveaway that sent him 1v1 with Ederson, pushing a shot past the keeper but off the post.

Former Leicester star Riyad Mahrez forced Kasper Schmeichel into a parry at the other end.

Man City was all over the Foxes, and Rodri claimed a loose ball to set up a bounding Benjamin Mendy shot that led to a corner.

Mahrez set up De Bruyne for a shot near the top of the 18, but the Belgian struck wide of the near post.

The Foxes earned a dangerous free kick against the run of play, but James Maddison’s 29th-minute shot turned off the wall and into the hands of Ederson.

There was a 39th-minute flashpoint went Ederson went fists first into Kelechi Iheanacho‘s head in a bid to parry a Maddison cross. The Brazilian got the ball first, but Iheanacho spent a lot of time on the turf with a clear injury.

Aguero had the ball in the goal off a De Bruyne-led counter-attack but was a yard offside and the match soon met halftime.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Leicester came out of the team room with vigor, and Ederson had to stymy a 46th-minute cross from newly-introduced Harvey Barnes.

Aguero’s rough day continued when he saw his penalty saved by Schmeichel, but Jesus gave City all three points on a rough-and-tumble day in Leicester.