Manchester City’s title charge was almost halted against Watford on Saturday, when with just eight minutes to go they found themselves a goal behind. With Arsenal having recorded a hard fought win over Newcastle just a few hours earlier, it looked as though Manchester City were going to fall further behind in the title race.
But then Yaya Toure stepped up with a stunning volley from a corner to pull Manchester City level, before Sergio Aguero headed home a just as splendid winner only two minutes later. The Manchester City fans reacted in a ravenous manner because of the Argentinian striker’s goal, especially since it signified that the hugely popular striker was back to his best.
Before the Watford game, Sergio Aguero hadn’t scored since November 21. Having been afflicted by injuries, Aguero has struggled to re-find the form that had led many pundits and fans to label the forward as one of the best in the world. However, since Aguero has only played three games following his return from the heel and hamstring injuries that had kept him out of action for a few games, it’s hardly surprising that Aguero had needed time to adjust.
Manchester City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that this is only the beginning though, and the coach insists that the 27-year-old Argentinian will now go on a fine goal-scoring run as City hunt for another Premier League title.
Pellegrini told the BBC, “I’m sure we’ll see in the second part of the season the performances of Aguero we’re used to. He needs two to three games to return to his normal performance. The goal that he scored tonight was important for him. Before that he made a lot of good movements – better than the last game.”
There had previously been concerns about Sergio Aguero’s form for Manchester City. The winning goal against Watford was only Aguero’s 10th of the season, with this statistic being skewed even further by the fact he scored five of these in a 15-minute spell against Newcastle United back in October.
But will this vital and, frankly, undeserved victory over Watford prove to be the catalyst for a title push? Manuel Pellegrini has refused to get carried away, insisting that there are too many games left to even consider the title.
“We need to play 18 games more and not be thinking about the title,” Pellegrini explained during the same interview. “In January, we have the semi-final of the Capital One Cup, we start the FA Cup, we have so many games that they most important thing is to try to go game by game.”
But Pellegrini believes that Manchester City have shown a lot of character over the last few months to prove that they can come through a poor performance to still claim three points. “I always said this team has a lot of character,” Pellegrini stated, before then adding, “We never give up, in every important game we always keep the face. We won the Champions League group in the same way.”
Manchester City finished top of their Champions League group, despite losing their first game in the competition to Juventus at the Etihad Stadium. They did this by scoring late goals home and away against Borussia Monchengladbach, as well as at home to Sevilla. Manchester City will now take on Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League round of 16, and they are regarded, alongside Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich, as one of the favorites for the Champions League. This would be the first time that Manchester City have ever won the hugely coveted competition.
[Image via Getty Images/Ian Walton]