EPL

Guardiola and Stones thrilled as Aguero ends Premier League drought

By Sports Desk March 13, 2021

Pep Guardiola and John Stones expressed their joy after seeing Sergio Aguero end a long Premier League goal drought in Manchester City's 3-0 win at Fulham on Sunday.

Aguero has been plagued by injuries over the past year or so and was without a goal in the top flight since January 21, 2020.

But he finally ended that dry spell in the second half at Craven Cottage, converting a penalty won by Ferran Torres after he robbed – and was hauled down by – former City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo.

Aguero had previously gone 13 appearances, 641 minutes of play and 24 shots without netting in the league, according to Opta, with his last goal coming against Sheffield United 417 days ago.

The 32-year-old's penalty completed a comfortable win that had been set in motion by John Stones' fifth goal of the season and Gabriel Jesus' eighth in his last 10 starts.

When asked about Aguero finding the net, Guardiola told Sky Sports: "It was important for him [Aguero]. To score goals is everything for him.

"Gabriel as well, and Ferran played an incredibly good game too. All the team was brilliant."

Aguero has been limited to just seven Premier League appearances this term, and even when fit he has had to be patient for opportunities, with Guardiola routinely opting to instead deploy a 'false nine' this term.

While the Argentinian forward was otherwise quiet, having just one other shot in the entire match, Stones was clearly pleased for his teammate.

Stones added: "I'm really happy for Sergio to get that scoring feeling back.

"We all know how good he is and I'm really happy to see him on the scoresheet, as I'm sure every City fan is."

Victory for City increased their lead at the Premier League summit to 17 points with just eight matches to go, though second-placed Manchester United do have a couple of games in hand.

Nevertheless, Stones acknowledged the end-of-season prizes are starting to come into sight, but Guardiola stressed they cannot lose focus now.

The Catalan coach said to BBC Sport: "Wins help to win the next game - of course, a different competition. There is not a second option in the next game [against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League]. We will prepare our best and try to do well to get in the next stage."

"We travel to Budapest now and prepare for another 'final' [last-16 second leg] before we get ready for the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

"I will arrive well [with a fresh squad] in Budapest through rotating. Sometimes the players don't believe me, I want everyone involved. Sometimes it is difficult but everyone has to make a contribution to win games and we will arrive at the end of the season fighting as best as possible."

Stones added: "We've always had that fighting spirit. The target is in the front of our minds and it's getting closer.

"We're taking each game as it comes. Games are coming thick and fast and there are a lot of competitions we're still in."

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