Pep Guardiola believes he should be afforded little credit for Sergio Aguero’s goal-laden start to the season for Manchester City.
Aguero returned to the City side from a domestic suspension to net a second hat-trick in as many European games, inspiring a 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in Wednesday’s re-arranged Champions League Group C clash.
City’s group opener was postponed as a thunder storm caused havoc in Manchester on Tuesday, but it was Aguero who struck twice before half-time against the Bundesliga side.
He completed his treble with by rounding goalkeeper Yann Sommer with 13 minutes to play before making way for Kelechi Iheanacho to finish the scoring.
As in the first half of last Saturday’s 2-1 derby triumph over Manchester United at Old Trafford, City played with the vibrant attacking flair that has become their coaches’ calling card.
However, as long as Aguero continues to contribute to his team’s relentless aggression without the ball, Guardiola believes the goals will take care of themselves.
“Sergio is good because he’s good,” he told a post-match news conference. “He was good with Manuel [Pellegrini], he is good with the national team, hopefully he is good with us.
“His talent in the box to score goals is natural; I can teach absolutely nothing.
“He has to know that behind him there is a team that is going to help him if he is going to help us. That is what I have to convince him.
“If he continues to help us in that way he is going to score a lot of goals, like Keli [Iheanacho], like all our strikers.”
An injury suffered by influential playmaker David Silva in training on Wednesday morning forced Guardiola to give Ilkay Gundogan his City debut in midfield.
It was the former Borussia Dortmund star’s first action since undergoing knee surgery that ruled him out of Germany’s Euro 2016 plans and he played with an easy style that meant the hosts did not miss their usual creator-in-chief.
“That shows how good he is, after three or four months out,” Guardiola said.
“We had a problem with David in the morning. We spoke with [Gundogan] and he said ‘I’m ready’.
“He is so intelligent. He knew exactly how to control his efforts. He was not ready to play 90 minutes, that is what I thought.
“To play with the quality that he has – both feet, intelligence, doesn’t lose the ball, really good when he arrives in the box – he has such a lot of qualities that are going to help us a lot. He is going to be an important player for us.”
Guardiola did not go into specifics on Silva’s injury, which he does not think is serious but could rule the Spain international out of Saturday’s Premier League match with Bournemouth.
“I think it’s not a big problem but a problem enough to not be able to play,” he added.
“Hopefully it will not be tough. I don’t know if it will be in time to play against Bournemouth but hopefully next week in Swansea he can be ready.”
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