Daily Mirror


Blues icon Sergio crowns his Etihad farewell for champs with a quickfire double off the bench in top send-off


PEP GUARDIOLA claimed Sergio Aguero was “irreplacea­ble” after the striker ended his Etihad career in perfect style.

The Argentine forward scored two goals as a secondhalf substitute as Manchester

City blitzed Everton 5-0.

And saluting the club’s record goalscorer, Guardiola called on his side to give him the perfect send-off in the Champions League on Saturday. “We love him so much – he is a special

MANCHESTER CITY fans will hope that Sergio Aguero has one last contributi­on to make in a sky blue shirt under the lights of the Estadio do Dragao on Saturday.

But if this is it, if this is the end, he will leave with everlastin­g gratitude for a career that has lifted City from also-rans to winners.

There was symmetry in his final appearance a decade on from a debut against Swansea when he came on as a second-half substitute and scored two goals. With the game already

won after goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden, Aguero came on after 65 minutes and scored two goals in seven minutes. It was very nearly perfection given he was twice denied a hat-trick twice by superb Jordan Pickford stops late on.

On a day when they lifted the Premier League trophy and prepared for the Champions League final in perfect style with no injuries, you can’t have everything.

As it was, his two goals were enough to take him past Wayne Rooney’s record to finish with 184 in his Premier League career for one club. It was a given in the circumstan­ces but when he was named man of the match his brilliant cameo at least provided cover for the tribute. There were brilliant performanc­es all over the pitch and even a penalty save from Ederson. But no one was going to eclipse Aguero yesterday. By the time of his introducti­on, City were safe and it was just the sort of performanc­e boss Pep Guardiola (left and right, celebratin­g the title win with his backroom staff) would have wanted from what looked, bar a possible tweak to get in Ilkay Gundogan, looked like his final starting line-up for Chelsea.

City certainly looked like the team with something still to play for, snapping into tackles without fear of injury. And it took just 11 minutes for them to take the lead.

It was De Bruyne who struck first, Foden and Riyad Mahrez pinballing on the right flank, the latter spotting the Belgium internatio­nal arriving at pace on the edge of the box on the left. Taking one touch to take Mason Holgate out of the picture, De Bruyne fired home, through a sliver between Pickford and his far post.

The second came just three minutes later came and in similar style, this time Fernandinh­o stealing the ball near the halfway line and putting in Jesus who turned inside Ben Godfrey and fired home.

Richarliso­n was brought down by Ruben Dias to give Everton a lifeline but Gylfi Sigurdsson wasted it from the spot, Ederson diving to his right to push it away. Foden put City 3-0 up capping a nice flowing move from left to right through Jesus and Raheem Sterling in the 53rd

minute. And then came the star turn. Aguero needed just six minutes to round off his Premier League career in style, turning Mason Holgate inside out before poking home from 12 yards. Richarliso­n and Holgate had to be separated as City celebrated with the former pulled off by an irate Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti. Aguero did it again with a fantastic header five minutes later meeting Fernandinh­o’s pinpoint cross from the right. He might have had a hattrick, first from exactly the same spot at the same end as his dramatic 2012 Premier League title winner against QPR and then a header only for Pickford to slightly spoil the fairy-tale ending.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? SUITS YOU SER Aguero scored twice on his Prem farewell for City and (above) he joined in the title party at the full-time whistle
SUITS YOU SER Aguero scored twice on his Prem farewell for City and (above) he joined in the title party at the full-time whistle
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom