Aguero is (k)unstoppable

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero shooting during his two-goal performance in the first half against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. He also set up a goal for Ilkay Gundogan in the 4-0 win.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero shooting during his two-goal performance in the first half against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. He also set up a goal for Ilkay Gundogan in the 4-0 win.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Striker's brace brings relief as Guardiola's six-game run without a victory finally ends

LONDON • Sergio "Kun" Aguero was branded Manchester City's "Special One" after he ended the worst run of manager Pep Guardiola's career.

The Argentina forward scored twice in the first half against West Bromwich Albion before setting up the third for Ilkay Gundogan, who also grabbed the final goal in the 4-0 win at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

It was a welcome result for Guardiola, who had gone six games in all competitions without a win.

City remain top of the Premier League on goal difference ahead of Arsenal despite their recent struggles and they can now look forward to tomorrow's Champions League clash against Barcelona with more confidence.

Aguero's double took his tally to 13 goals this season and he will chase his 150th for City when Guardiola's former club visit Eastlands tomorrow.

After dropping Aguero for City's 4-0 defeat at Barcelona recently, Guardiola was delighted with the contribution of the Argentinian.

"Sergio is a special player," Guardiola said. "We need him a lot and, when he's in that mood and shows that hunger, Sergio is definitive."

Aguero was sacrificed for tactical reasons in the first meeting with Barca, but Guardiola admitted his talisman has earned his place in the team for the return.

Asked if the marksman will start against Barcelona, the City manager said: "I think so. But I'm not going to tell you which position."

Guardiola was also pleased with Gundogan after the German playmaker netted his first brace in English football.

"He has the qualities with the ball in the middle, he's safe and he's really good with the ball one against one attacking central defenders," Guardiola said. "He showed that with the first goal with the pass to Sergio."

Guardiola admitted City needed to end their winless run - so they did not lose their heads.

"I was very pleased - after six games we needed the win for a mental boost," he said. "The problem when you haven't won for six games is you lack a bit of confidence for the next one. "

West Brom assistant coach Dave Kemp admitted they could not live with Aguero.

"Aguero's two goals were tremendous. You know he's a good player but you hope he's off colour a little bit. He wasn't, and you find yourself in trouble," Kemp said.

"If something isn't quite right they're good enough to be all over you like a rash - as they were.

"Sometimes you have to hold your hand up. If you're playing a lesser team sometimes you get away with it. Not against these (sides)."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Aguero is (k)unstoppable'. Print Edition | Subscribe