Saturday 17 August 2019

Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini plays down Sergio Aguero injury fears

Sergio Aguero limped out of Manchester City's victory over Southampton
Sergio Aguero limped out of Manchester City's victory over Southampton

Manuel Pellegrini played down Sergio Aguero's latest injury after the striker limped out of Manchester City's defeat of Southampton.

Aguero, making only his third appearance since returning from a hamstring problem, appeared in some discomfort as he left the field after 64 minutes of City's 3-1 Barclays Premier League win at the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentinian had been clutching his ankle just moments earlier but Pellegrini insisted it was not serious and the player was about to be substituted anyway.

The City manager said: "I spoke with Sergio before the game and he was not going to play more than 65 minutes. In the last play he received a kick in his heel. We will see tomorrow but I don't think it was anything important."

Aguero seems unlikely to play in Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final against Hull with Pellegrini suggesting the 27-year-old is due a rest anyway.

Pellegrini said: "We will see, not because he had a kick in his heel or because he went out in minute 65 but because he has played already three games in a row.

"It is very important to see with the medical staff in the way he is recovering and we will decide on Tuesday which is the starting XI against Hull."

City's victory was their first in three Premier League games and was a welcome relief for the title favourites after back-to-back losses to Liverpool and Juventus in different competitions in the past week.

The platform for the win was laid as Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph struck in the opening 20 minutes with Aleksandar Kolarov settling nerves after Shane Long pulled one back.

Pellegrini said: "It was a very important reaction. It was not an easy week.

"We had won just one point from the last six in the Premier League so it was very important to win here against a difficult team that was unbeaten away. I am very happy with the performance and the three points."

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman felt his team paid the price for too many mistakes in the early stages.

The Dutchman said: "It is not a question about tactics, about players or about the line-up if we make the kind of mistakes we did in the first 20 minutes.

"At least we showed in the second half that we can keep the ball and have good ball possession, but if you make those kind of mistakes, you know City can punish you.

"Maybe we were lucky to be only 2-0 after 20 minutes because we lost every ball. If you lose the ball to players like (Raheem) Sterling, you know they will punish you."

Koeman was at least pleased with the way his side responded after falling 2-0 down.

He said: "It is important the players take the positives form the second half and then you see if we play our level, we can make it difficult to the big teams.

"We had the best chance to score (and make it) 2-2 from (Dusan) Tadic and had some other counter-attacks stopped by the referee, but 3-1 killed the game."

PA Media

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