The rumour mill had recently been buzzing about the possible departure of one of Manchester City’s greatest ever players. However, manager Pep Guardiola stressed the importance of the striker following the win over Barcelona.

 

Manchester City registered their most impressive win in the Pep Guardiola era as they defeated their manager’s former side Barcelona 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium to avenge their 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture.

After the game, the Catalan manager lauded his team and stressed the importance of the win in boosting morale.

“Considering the short time we’ve been together, against the best team in the world, our victory today is so important. Now we have one more game to win,” Guardiola said, according to Sky Sports.

Guardiola also emphasises the importance of f Sergio Aguero, who was left out of the Citizens’ game against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. The Argentine striker notched an assist and was involved in another goal for City on Tuesday.

“It was just one game that I didn’t play him,” Guardiola said. “I said before the game, and after the game, to us, without Sergio we cannot achieve our target. I’m so happy for him because he was so happy.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo courtesy – Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

After the Man City legend was benched for the first game against the Blaugrana, reports soon emerged of a rift between player and manager. It was believed Aguero wasn’t fitting into Pep Guardiola’s tactical approach, and the Catalan wanted more out of the player who has hitherto played as a pure central striker and target man.

The Argentine has been one of the most consistent and devastating strikers in the Premier League since arriving in 2011. Many of City’s rivals were reportedly observing the situation carefully, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.

However, Aguero put all the rumours to rest with a sublime performance against Barcelona. He may not have scored, but his pressing and selfless passing led the way for the Sky Blues. Guardiola will surely think twice before leaving him out of the side for the rest of the season.

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