In the 64th minute, the Etihad Stadium rose to cheer the entry of Sergio Agüero as Manchester City’s record scorer trotted in the club’s colors for the 389th and possibly the last time. The adoring crowd had gotten what they so wanted from Pep Guardiola: one last sight of a 258-goal genius to cap this Premier League title celebration jamboree through which City had come through thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden. .
What the 10,000 returning fans were now hoping for was a 259th strike, and Agüero did not disappoint. First the No 10 tangled Mason Holgate with a shimmy that sent the Everton defender to a different postcode, then with the outside of that deadly right foot he gave Jordan Pickford no chance in Everton’s goal.
Pandemonium cue and the most cheeky of smiles with a hint of endearing nonchalance from the little wizard. Agüero had been on the pitch for seven minutes.
What was already a grandstand finish turned into a barely believable fairy tale five minutes later when his 260th goal arrived. It was his 183rd for them in the Premier League, pulling the Argentinian past Wayne Rooney at Manchester United for the most in the competition for a club – a header peach, leaping high and slamming the ball to Pickford’s left.
Agüero’s opener was celebrated by a host of teammates, including Ederson, who ran 90 yards from his penalty area to join us. The second was greeted with laughter and disbelief at the extraordinary events he witnessed.
On the closing day of the 2011-12 season, the center forward scored his famous Premier League title-sealing goal “93:20”. Oddly enough, a chance came in the same area – near the visitors’ left post – as against the Queens Park Rangers for him to pull off the hat-trick, but this time Pickford saved.
There were other treble opportunities for Agüero – notably via a header – but that was not the case. Still, it ended in a magical appearance on the day City paraded the Championship trophy ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Chelsea.
It was Agüero’s fifth crown for City – three for Guardiola, plus one each under Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini. Recalling QPR’s goal, the 32-year-old was self-deprecating. “This game – I remember playing shit,” he said in the ceremony that followed to mark his departure. “But then at 2-2, I thought [come on]. »
As Chelsea lose to Aston Villa but still squeeze through the top four, Guardiola’s men will start as favorites at Porto. It’s worth noting in this match how Guardiola mixed his side up: it was partly an exercise to keep his top picks in shape and partly an audition for those who could make their way into the action on Saturday.
De Bruyne, who returned from injury after three weeks of absence, fell into the old category. So when the totemic Belgian recovered from Mahrez after 11 minutes, padded forward, and then completed his arrival beyond Pickford for his 10th goal of the season, it was a particular pleasure for the player and the manager.
Then, Raheem Sterling, a member of the fringe suitors group, showed a hunger that Guardiola allegedly noticed during Michael Keane’s pickpocketing midway. The ball went to De Bruyne whose pass to Jesus gave the Brazilian his 50th strike in the Premier League.
Everton were brought into the role of reluctant patsies by a relentless blue wave. A ball-beat Fernandinho header was coldly knocked down by Mahrez before his ball, which was aimed at a hidden Sterling at the far post, was somehow wiped out by the visitors.
There was no way out for Carlo Ancelotti’s men. Even when Lucas Digne snapped off a corner of Foden, he looked up to not see a teammate in black shirts to support him. Instead, Kyle Walker and John Stones brought back the cavalry to protect Ederson, and Everton’s spirit was punctured again.
The second half became a carnival in its own right for City when Foden registered with ease, with the youngster’s 18th goal this season being applauded by the warming up Agüero. It was Foden’s last act. With an eye on Chelsea, Guardiola replaced him with Rodri.
Next is the introduction of Agüero, which capped off a memorable afternoon in the blue half of the city. For the trophy presentation, the PA played all the local favorites, including songs about how “City wins / United loses / City – you made me sing the blues” and Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In. Anger.
As for Agüero, it will only be fun looking back on his decade at the club. He is an extremely popular man whose playful sense of humor was evident when he jokingly went to pick up a crutch from a city staff member as they kissed.
As a special tribute, Martin Tyler recreated his “Agüeroooooooooo” commentary on the 93:20 goal live in the stadium, after a bunch of former City players including Joe Hart, Nigel de Jong, David Silva and Vincent Kompany, have paid tribute to him. shown.
In this fast-moving company, City’s future is now their tilt to Portugal in a debut Champions League triumph. Realize this and the greatest chapter in club history will be written.