Pep hails 'legend' Aguero after ace nets 178th City goal

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrate after the match, Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers, on Oct 24.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrate after the match, Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers, on Oct 24. PHOTO: REUTERS

NAPLES (Italy) • Sergio Aguero became Manchester City's all-time record scorer and was described as "a legend" by coach Pep Guardiola, whose side booked their place in the Champions League last 16 with a 4-2 win at Napoli on Wednesday.

The Argentinian beat the mark of 177 set by Eric Brook during the 1930s when he netted City's third goal in Naples after 69 minutes.

"What he has achieved has made him a legend, he's gone down in history, so I would tell him to enjoy," said Guardiola.

Aguero's goal was one of the defining moments in a thrilling game where the Premier League leaders refused to settle for a point that would seal their berth in the knockout rounds.

It was a brilliant breakaway goal from a team who are irresistible going forward.

City are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions this season and have racked up 49 goals along the way, with their latest display of swashbuckling football leaving the Serie A leaders' hopes of joining City in the last 16 hanging by a thread.

City's fourth victory out of four in Group F puts them on 12 points. Napoli are third, six points behind Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk (nine points), who beat Dutch side Feyenoord 3-1.

For Guardiola, the most satisfying part of the match was the way in which his team recovered from Napoli's blistering opening, which culminated in Lorenzo Insigne scoring a delightful goal after exchanging passes with Dries Mertens to carve open City.

"They destroyed us in the first 20 minutes, especially on the left side," said the Spaniard. "The point is how in the bad moments the team react and they did really well."

Nicolas Otamendi pulled City level on 35 minutes before John Stones edged the visitors ahead three minutes after the break.

Jorginho equalised from the penalty spot after 62 minutes.

But Aguero got his historic goal before Raheem Sterling put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.

Aguero promised to give his shirt to his eight-year-old son Benjamin - the grandson of Argentina legend Diego Maradona.

"This shirt is for my son. He texted me to say, 'As soon as you score, bring me the shirt'," said Aguero, who has the best goals-to-minutes ratio in Premier League history - scoring 107 in 154 matches at a rate of a goal every 106 minutes.

It was fitting that he achieved his landmark at the San Paolo Stadium, where Maradona made himself a Neapolitan icon between 1984 and 1991, winning two Serie A titles and the Uefa Cup.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Pep hails 'legend' Aguero after ace nets 178th City goal'. Print Edition | Subscribe