Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero believes he is improving as a player under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage this season, and says he was not angry after being left on the bench in Barcelona a fortnight ago.
Aguero was named as a substitute for tactical reasons at Camp Nou but started against the same opposition on Tuesday and played a starring role as City won 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola has often spoke of Aguero’s need to improve in various different areas of his game but praised the striker’s performance against the Catalans as “awesome”.
It had been reported that the forward took exception to the manager’s decision to leave him out of the starting line-up at Camp Nou a fortnight ago, but he says he never had any issues.
“No, I’m never angry,” he said. “I respect every manager’s decision. He said it was a tactical thing and I obviously respect that. When I went onto the pitch I tried to give my best and then train hard to be ready for the next game. But no one was in a bad mood.”
And Aguero himself was also pleased with his work after Tuesday’s victory, and he says he is on the right track.
“Obviously Guardiola always give me tips to improve, what I need to do is go out onto the pitch and try to do better, and I think that we are going the right way, but of course I have a lot of things to learn and every game brings something different,” he said.
Guardiola gave Aguero tactical instructions before the start of the second half, and the striker has revealed exactly what was discussed.
“He said keep playing the same way, that we were fine,” the striker disclosed. “He spoke a bit about pressing and how to do it. We were saying we had to finish our attacks and score a goal, that was the most important thing, and that’s how it turned out, right?”
The 28-year-old also gave an insight into how City rattled Barca and restricted their forward trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
“They’re a difficult team, obviously,” he said. “If you give them the time and the space to think, they will beat you. We tried to press them when the ball was in midfield, and tried to hit them on the counter to see if we could score. It happened like that, but you always have to respect Barca.
“We had to pretend that it wasn’t Barca and try to play how we know, and win, which was the most important thing.
“I don’t know if they were playing badly but we were good, and that’s the main point. We pressed the ball when Neymar and Leo, the most dangerous players, had it.
“Then we tried to press in the centre so they couldn’t do what they usually do with a slight touch and Leo sending the ball to the back post. In the second half he did send the ball a couple of times to Suarez and Neymar but we tried to stop him from doing that.”
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