HOPE

Pep in­sists Je­sus, Aguero can shine to­gether

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PEP Guardi­ola is cer­tain Gabriel Je­sus and Ser­gio Aguero can play to­gether for Manch­ester City de­spite sug­gest­ing it was a dis­as­ter when they first linked up.

Guardi­ola sur­pris­ingly started with the fit-again Aguero on the bench as City moved a step closer to Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion by beat­ing Le­ices­ter 2-1 at East­lands on Satur­day.

Third-placed City are three points ahead of fifth-placed Ar­se­nal with two games re­main­ing as they bat­tle for a top-four fin­ish.

Je­sus scored the penalty that put City two goals in front after David Silva had given them the lead with an ef­fort that Le­ices­ter be­lieved should have been dis­al­lowed for off­side.

The Brazil­ian striker’s ar­rival from Palmeiras in Jan­uary has cast doubt over Aguero’s longterm fu­ture at City, even though the Ar­gen­tine has scored 31 goals this sea­son.

The two for­wards did start to­gether for the 2-2 draw at Mid­dles­brough on April 30, but strug­gled ini­tially be­fore click­ing, and they had 12 min­utes along­side each other against Le­ices­ter after Aguero came on as a late substitute.

“They play at Mid­dles­brough to­gether, and in the first half it was a dis­as­ter. The sec­ond half was much bet­ter. Both them have qual­ity enough to see who wins the game for the side,” Guardi­ola said.

“Gabriel can play on the left side if Aguero is in the mid­dle. They can do that. In Brazil, Gabriel plays most of the time in the left.

“Of course they can play to­gether. It de­pends on their be­hav­iour and mood.”

Je­sus’s penalty means he has scored twice in three matches since re­turn­ing after two-and-a-half months out with a bro­ken foot.

“We can­not for­get that Gabriel was out in­jured for al­most three months. It is still like he is in pre­sea­son a lit­tle bit,” Guardi­ola said.

“Gabriel is a guy who un­der­stands per­fectly he has a lot of things to learn. He is open-minded, he will do it.”

Guardi­ola’s side made heavy weather of beat­ing Le­ices­ter, with Shinji Okazaki’s spec­tac­u­lar vol­ley bring­ing the vis­i­tors back into the game just be­fore half­time.

Craig Shake­speare’s side looked set to equalise when

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