EPL

'I love you Man City' – Sergio Aguero salutes Pep Guardiola's champions after dramatic title win

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Sergio Aguero hailed Premier League champions Manchester City after a thrilling comeback against Aston Villa delivered another title for Pep Guardiola's team.

It was Aguero who was the hero when City landed their first Premier League triumph 10 years ago, when he struck deep into stoppage time to earn a 3-2 win over QPR on the final day.

A statue in honour of that moment was unveiled outside the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.

Aguero, who left City last year, is the club's record scorer and was quick to send his congratulations after Ilkay Gundogan's double and Rodri's strike saw the table-toppers roar back from 2-0 behind to beat Villa.

The comeback crushed Liverpool's title hopes, and Aguero wrote on Twitter: "Campeones campeones, I love you @ManCity."

Former City winger Leroy Sane, now at Bayern Munich, proposed City now build a monument in Gundogan's honour, offering an appreciative nod to his fellow Germany international.

Sane tweeted: "Maybe City should give this man a statue, too. Congrats Gundo, Congrats @ManCity."

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  • Erling Haaland an inspiration for club and country – Man City winger Oscar Bobb Erling Haaland an inspiration for club and country – Man City winger Oscar Bobb

    Oscar Bobb has described his Manchester City and Norway team-mate Erling Haaland as an inspiration.

    Haaland got the only goal as City edged out Brentford 1-0 on Tuesday night in a match that saw emerging talent Bobb, 20, make his first Premier League start.

    It was Haaland’s 17th goal of the season despite missing two months of the campaign with a foot injury, and took him to 53 in 55 league appearances since joining City in the summer of 2022. A goal against the Bees meant he has scored against all 21 Premier League opponents he has faced.

    “What he’s achieved is crazy, right?” Bobb said. “He’s only three years older than me, same country, everything. Yes, he’s an inspiration.”

    Asked if he was close with his illustrious team-mate, Bobb said: “Yes, I think it’s natural. We’re pretty close in age and from the same place. He helps me a lot.”

    It was Haaland’s third goal in seven games since his return from injury and came after he was criticised for missing a string of opportunities in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

    But Bobb said there had never been any concern within the City camp regarding their star striker, who last week was mourning the death of his grandmother.

    “Everyone knows how good of a finisher he is,” Bobb said. “As long as he gets in those situations, whether he misses or scores, such a clinical finish, if he misses a few one game it’s not like he’s going to start missing all his chances.

    “There’s no real worries. I mean, when you have the quality he has, it is just about getting to the right spots.”

    Haaland capitalised on a slip from Kristoffer Ajer to finally find a way past Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken, breaching a defence that for 70 minutes had stood firm to the growing frustration of Pep Guardiola, his players, and the home fans inside the Etihad Stadium.

    Bobb had one of City’s best chances in the first half when he collected a rebound, neatly created space for himself but then saw his shot blocked on the line by Ben Mee.

    Though it was his first league start, this was Bobb’s 16th City appearance of the season. The winger, who joined City’s academy from Valerenga in 2019, has scored two goals, including a memorable late winner at Newcastle last month.

    “It’s been a big step up but I think, playing in this team, it gets a lot easier because you are not always dominating but usually you see a lot of the ball,” he said.

    “For me as a player I’m more of a ball-player than a runner and that helps. Being in this group and with these people helps me.”

    Bobb is now hoping to play his part in the title chase as City look ahead to a March fixture list that includes a derby against United, a potentially pivotal trip to Anfield and a home match against Arsenal.

    “In these situations – the manager says it a lot – you don’t really think too far ahead,” Bobb said. “It’s (a few) games before United even. So I don’t think that’s the biggest focus right now. It will be, of course, and that period will be good for the team.

    “Two, three years ago we won by one point when (Ilkay Gundogan) scored (on the final day against Aston Villa). When you look at it like that, every point could be a title-deciding point.”

  • Wayne Rooney: If Pep Guardiola asked me to be his assistant, I’d walk there Wayne Rooney: If Pep Guardiola asked me to be his assistant, I’d walk there

    Wayne Rooney says he would walk to Manchester City if Pep Guardiola asked him to become his assistant.

    Rooney became Manchester United’s record scorer during 13 years at Old Trafford from 2004, scoring 253 goals in 559 appearances for the Red Devils.

    The former England captain was linked with a move to City after handing in a transfer request at United in 2010.

    Rooney eventually patched up his differences with manager Sir Alex Ferguson and stayed at Old Trafford for another seven years.

    But, less than two months after his 15-game spell as Birmingham manager came to an end, the 38-year-old admits he would be open to the idea of working on the blue side of Manchester.

    “It depends (on whether I’d ever be an assistant) – if Pep Guardiola comes in and asks me to be his assistant, you’d walk there,” Rooney told the Stick to Football podcast.

    “You see what (Mikel) Arteta is doing now (at Arsenal) and I strongly believe a lot of that is from learning what Guardiola was doing, and so it depends on what the situation is.

    “For me, the best manager is Pep and you look at how he adapts – how they (City) are playing now is not the same as how they were playing four years ago.

    “He keeps making these subtle changes and then you see everyone else trying to do the same. They also work harder than anyone else.”

    City, the English, European and FIFA World Club Cup champions, are 12 points better off in the Premier League than sixth-placed United, and Rooney says it is “frustrating” watching his former team under Erik ten Hag.

    He said: “There’s talent in there. But I just think there’s a mindset that needs to change.

    “You watch some games and I think, ‘Really good’. But then all of a sudden it’s like a switch that’s been flicked.

    “They can go from being really good to really bad. There’s a lack of consistency.”

    Rooney has been linked to a possible switch to boxing, with the self-confessed fight fan confirming there have been talks to get him in the ring.

    He also expressed an interest in becoming a lawyer during a recent media interview, saying he had applied to Nottingham University to study criminal law when he was at Derby.

    Rooney laughed on the podcast when recalling telling lawyers what to ask during his wife Coleen’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial with Rebekah Vardy in 2022.

    But Rooney insists his focus is firmly on returning to management after spells at Derby, Major League Soccer side DC United and Birmingham.

    “It’s all experience – I’m only 38, I’ve had three managerial jobs but I’ve got quite a bit of experience to lean on,” said Rooney.

    “If you look at the three clubs I’ve managed, going in at Derby under their circumstances in administration, DC United who were bottom of the league when I went over there, and now Birmingham, who over the past 10 years have been a mess.

    “I want to focus on getting back into management. The main thing for me is to completely cut out what I’ve done as a player and almost start again as a manager.

    “Of course, my playing experience will help me, but I’m right at the bottom from a managerial point of view, and I want to work my way up.

    “I’m not relying on what I’ve done as a player to get me into places that I shouldn’t be.

    “I want to get back into managing and I want to prove myself – whether that’s League Two, League One or Championship.”

  • The numbers behind Erling Haaland scoring against every Premier League opponent The numbers behind Erling Haaland scoring against every Premier League opponent

    Erling Haaland’s goal against Brentford means he has scored against every opponent he has faced in the Premier League.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the prolific Norway international’s Manchester City record.

    Full house

    Chelsea, Liverpool and Brentford were the only teams not to concede to Haaland in his astonishing debut season in England, when he won the Premier League Golden Boot with 36 goals in 33 games.

    He ticked off Chelsea and Liverpool in successive league games either side of November’s international break and, having failed to score in this season’s first meeting with the Bees, has had to wait until Tuesday’s postponed return fixture to complete the set of 21 opponents he has faced.

    He has yet to play against Luton, having missed December’s fixture while injured, so April’s game at the Etihad Stadium will bring the chance to add a 22nd name to his perfect record.

    Tuesday night’s effort means Haaland now has 53 goals in 55 Premier League appearances.

    Favourite opponents

    Haaland’s best Premier League scoring record is against derby rivals Manchester United as well as Fulham, with five goals in three games against each.

    He hit a hat-trick at home to United last season and a double at Old Trafford this term, while scoring in both of last season’s meetings with the Cottagers and adding a treble in September.

    He has four goals against each of Crystal Palace, in two appearances, and Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Wolves in three apiece and Everton in four, with hat-tricks against all but the Hammers and Toffees.

    He has three against both Brighton and Southampton while he has scored in every game against Fulham, Everton, West Ham (three games each), Palace, Saints (two), Leicester and Sheffield United (one).

    Aston Villa, Brentford, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Tottenham, in three games each, Liverpool in two and the Blades in one have conceded only once to Haaland.

    Record books

    Harry Kane also scored against every Premier League opponent he faced, a total of 32 clubs, during his time with Tottenham – a brief loan at Norwich early in his career did not yield any of his eventual 213 goals in the competition.

    Frank Lampard holds the record for scoring Premier League goals against the most clubs overall, with his 39 one more than Andy Cole, but neither player scored against every opponent they faced.

    Third on that list with 37 opponents is the league’s record scorer Alan Shearer, whose 20 goals against Leeds is the most by one player against a single opponent.

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