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Guardiola hails 'special' Aguero with striker set to break another City record

PA | 2mo
Aguero is one goal short of equalling the club record for league goals.

Pep Guardiola has hailed the enduring class of Sergio Aguero as the striker nears another Manchester City goalscoring milestone.

The Argentinian, with 157 league goals, is one short of equalling the club record held jointly by Tommy Johnson and Eric Brook.

Aguero, 30, is already the club's overall record scorer, having powered on to 219 since surpassing Brook's previous best mark of 177 last season.

Aguero scored a hat-trick, his 14th for City, against Arsenal last weekend (Nick Potts/PA)

City manager Guardiola said: "The big players need to appear in the key games, the big moments, and he did it. Hopefully he can continue doing it. In the big games we need important players.

"(It is) not (Maurizio) Sarri, Pep, Jurgen (Klopp) or any manager. This game belongs to the players and important games belong to special players. That's what he's about.

"Sometimes the best tennis players, when they need a point to save a break, they make ace. The big moments, always the big athletes come.

"Sometimes players hide in those moments but others step forward and say, 'I'm the boss and I'm going to win this game'. The big clubs need these kind of players. It's simple."

Aguero's next such big game could be Sunday's home Premier League clash with Chelsea, when City will be hoping to put more pressure on Liverpool in the title race. He has scored 12 goals in 16 appearances against the Londoners.

Coincidentally, Chelsea are now managed by Sarri, who was Napoli boss when Aguero struck his record-breaking 178th City goal in a Champions League group match.

City actually beat Napoli home and away in the competition but Guardiola was impressed by Sarri and he continues to be, despite recent criticism of the Italian following recent Chelsea results.

Sarri's side, who are 12 points behind City, lost two in succession before last week's 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is highly regarded by Guardiola (John Walton/PA)

Guardiola said: "I met him last season when we played against Napoli and I was so curious because I enjoyed, a lot, watching his Napoli.

"Winning in Italy is not easy with Juventus but they made 90 points and played incredible football.

"I think the season from Chelsea is exceptional. They are in the final of the Carabao Cup, in the Europa League they went through easy, and in the Premier League they are there.

"Even if people don't believe it, they have a chance to be champions. Nine points, 12 points – there are a lot of games to play. In the FA cup they are still there as well."



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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