Manchester City new boy Nolito 'proud' to pair up with Sergio Aguero
Published 21/08/2016 | 13:11
Nolito is honoured to be playing alongside the prolific Sergio Aguero at Manchester City.
Spain striker Nolito has made a fine start to his City career, scoring his second and third goals for the club in Saturday's comfortable 4-1 Premier League win at Stoke.
But it was still not enough to command the headlines as Aguero continued his flying start to the campaign with another double to take his tally to six in three games.
"Aguero is one of the best players in the world and I'm very proud to work and play with him," Nolito said. "I hope he keeps scoring to help us this season.
"I feel very good here. It's only been three games and I'm still settling in, but I feel fit and I just want to keep working with the team.
"I'm really happy with both of my goals, and happy to score them because it was our first away game, but it was more important to get the three points."
City supporters at the bet365 Stadium chanted their support for goalkeeper Joe Hart and playmaker Yaya Toure, who were again both omitted by boss Pep Guardiola.
But they were even more vocal in their appreciation of Guardiola, whose development of the team is gathering momentum.
Following on from their impressive win at Steaua Bucharest in midweek, City were at their most fluid in the first half, with the rejuvenated Raheem Sterling again impressing.
The lead came in the 27th minute as Aguero, not perturbed after two misses in Romania, stood up to take a penalty after Nicolas Otamendi was held back by Ryan Shawcross. He headed a second after 36 minutes.
Stoke were denied a penalty before the break after Aleksandar Kolarov felled Joe Allen but did get one early in the second half when Sterling was adjudged to have impeded Shawcross by referee Mike Dean.
Both of the penalties given underlined a new determination to clamp down on pushing and holding at set-pieces this season, but while there was no doubting contact for the Otamendi spot-kick, the second award seemed harsh.
Bojan converted and Stoke went on to have a good spell, but ultimately they could not take advantage of a dip in City's intensity. Substitute Nolito eventually wrapped up victory, with the 29-year-old netting two goals in the last four minutes.
Nolito said: "I was lucky to come on as a substitute. I did well. I won't always start because of the other guys in the squad but the most important thing is we all worked together in the same direction and in the end we had a good win."
The result left Stoke still waiting for their first win of the new campaign but manager Mark Hughes saw reasons for optimism.
"I don't think the scoreline was a fair reflection for our efforts," said Hughes, a former Manchester City boss.
"Overall there were elements of our game I was pleased with, but other elements we need to improve on because they are the ones that cost us the game.
"The scoreline was flattering for City but they are a good side, they are going to run the league title very close. We need to be better next time we face them but I am sure they will build like we will."