Sergio Aguero preferred not to dwell on the fact he had played his final game for Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium after scoring twice against Everton, while an emotional Pep Guardiola paid tribute to the departing striker, saying: “We cannot replace him.”
City’s record goalscorer bade a fairytale farewell to the ground he has graced for the past decade by coming off the bench to hit a quickfire double in the Premier League champions’ emphatic 5-0 win on Sunday.
The brace took the 32-year-old’s club tally to 260 ahead of one potential last appearance in the Champions League final against Chelsea next Saturday.
Aguero, who has won five Premier League titles, told Sky Sports: “Before the game, I felt so strange, the sensation is not good. I prefer to think about the good moments.
“I’m a striker, my target is to score goals, so I’m so happy because it’s my last game and to score two goals is fantastic for me.
“When I came here the first title for me was the most important, for the club and for me. Then Man City started to win more titles so I’m so happy because it’s not easy to be 10 years at one club, for me, it’s an honour.”
Aguero signs off with customary City style
Man City completed a sequence of 42 passes leading up to Sergio Aguero’s second goal – the highest number leading up to a goal in the Premier League this season.
- Final Premier League table
- Man City 5-0 Everton – Match report and highlights
- How the teams lined up | Match stats
Emotional Pep pays tribute to Aguero
Manager Pep Guardiola also paid an emotional tribute to the Argentinian, whose goals completed a rout after earlier strikes from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden.
He said: “We love him so much – he is a special person for all of us. We can not replace him. He showed his quality in those 30 minutes.
“It was a perfect end, a fairytale moment. It was so good.
“He made an incredible two goals to finish the game in a good mood and now we have five days to prepare for the final.”
One final chapter to write…
The atmosphere at the Etihad was a celebratory one with fans returning to the ground for the first time this season and City presented with the trophy after the game.
The post-match ceremonies also included a special tribute to Aguero in recognition of his career but, as Guardiola pointed out, there is still time for one last chapter.
Asked if Aguero could play against Chelsea in Porto, Guardiola said: “Of course. We have five substitutions. He has a special feeling, he has something special.
“Of course he will be ready if we need him to help us win the Champions League.”
City will now wrap up celebrations and turn attentions to completing their European quest.
Guardiola said: “We have time. We will go home now. We’ve enjoyed the last two weeks, every moment, of being champions. Now today we celebrate but tomorrow we train.
“Then we will have a day off and then we have two or three days to prepare for the final.”
- Get Sky Sports | Get a Sky Sports Pass
- Live football on Sky Sports
Richards on ‘legend’ Aguero
Sky Sports’ Micah Richards:
“In training, I’ve told the story many times before, when he first arrived I just thought what have we signed? He didn’t train well at all, he was very laid back, and then as soon as he stepped on the pitch, he scored two goals against Swansea.
“His movement, his acceleration, his concentration in front of goal, composure, for a striker, inside the box, he’s got everything. It’s an emotional day for me because I love him so much.
“You talk about characters, he’s the nicest man ever in the dressing room, he doesn’t bother anyone, upset anyone, he goes about his business in his own way.
“Sergio is a diamond of a person. This is not for games, this is real, it means so much to this club, and to see him go today is heartbreaking. You can see the effect it has on his manager, someone who’s been accused of being ruthless, who’s got no real sentiment at times, but that’s all the emotion you need to see.
“One word. Legend.
“I’ve said it for a few weeks now, maybe even months, I think he could’ve done one more year. We’ve seen the quality, it’s there, I know Pep wants to set his teams to press a bit higher, that might not suit him, but he’s still got the quality.”
‘What a way to go out’
Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp:
“He’s been an absolute legend, Sergio Aguero, and I’m so pleased that he went out in the way he did. People talk about the Panenka, the fact he scored those two goals today just to remember how great he is.
“What a way to go out. What a high. That’s the worry, he’s had his injuries. You can see the admiration and the respect levels.
“Trying to get that player who can just change the fortunes of a football club. When he came in from Atletico, we didn’t quite know what he was going to be. Some players aren’t great trainers, but do it when it matters. That moment in 2011/12, will go down as one of those immortal moments in Premier League history.
“That’s why I think it almost feels it is right he goes now, on a high, we can celebrate what he’s achieved. He doesn’t want to be here next year if he can’t play to the level we want him to. He’s showed it this season in glimpses, but for a whole season, can he still do it?
“But, look at the love there is here. I just wish the stadium was full – he deserves it.”
What’s next? Euros, transfer window, 2021/22 key dates
Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday June 11 – just 19 days after the conclusion of the 2020/21 Premier League season – and runs until Sunday July 11.
The 2021/22 Premier League campaign will start on the weekend of Saturday August 14 – 34 days after that Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Clubs will be able to start planning for the new term when the top-flight fixtures are released at 9am on Wednesday, June 16 but transfer business can start in earnest before then, with the summer transfer window opening on Wednesday June 9.
- 2021/22 season – all the key dates
- 2021/22 fixture release dates
- Summer transfer window 2021 – what you need to know
- Premier League kits for 2021/22
- Euro 2020 – full fixtures and schedule
The 2021/22 Championship season begins a week before the top-flight one on the weekend of Saturday August 7. All Sky Bet EFL fixtures will be announced at 9am on Thursday June 24.
Source: Read Full Article