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Zabaleta desperate to draw a line under Aguero controversy

MANCHESTER CITY defender Pablo Zabaleta wants to defuse any lingering tension between his side and Villarreal prior to tonight's Champions League clash at El Madrigal.

City snatched a dramatic 2-1 win with an injury-time Sergio Aguero goal last time the sides met at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago.

City celebrated their first win in Champions League football feverishly but, amid the euphoria, there was a sour note as Aguero was later accused of mocking Villarreal players by some Spanish club staff.

Aguero denied the accusations and fellow Argentinian Zabaleta wants to make sure all is forgotten by having a word with another of their countrymen before kick-off.

Zabaleta, 26, said: "I don't know what happened in the last game with Sergio in the tunnel.

"But I know some players from Villarreal, especially Gonzalo Rodriguez, and I will try to speak to him to say what happened in the last game is finished.

"We need to try to focus on the next game. That is most important for us and for the Villarreal players as well."

City's last-gasp success last time out changed the complexion of Group A as Bayern Munich and Napoli simultaneously played out a draw.

Roberto Mancini's men are still third but just a point behind Napoli and three off Bayern's top spot.

Yet there is still work to be done and Zabaleta added: "We are in a tough group with difficult teams.

"We know it is going to be very hard and it is tight in front of us.

"If we want to get into first or second position, we need to try to get three points tonight."