Mon, May 15, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Jesus, Aguero can shine together, Guardiola insists

AFP, MANCHESTER, England

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gestures on the touchline on Saturday during a game against Leicester at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England.

Photo: AP

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is certain Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero can play together for City, despite suggesting it was a disaster at first.

Guardiola surprisingly started with the fit-again Aguero on the bench as City moved a step closer to Champions League qualification by beating Leicester City 2-1 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Third-placed City are three points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal with two games remaining as they battle for a top-four finish.

Jesus scored the penalty that put City two goals in front after David Silva had given them the lead with an effort that Leicester believed should have been disallowed for offside.

The Brazilian striker’s arrival from Palmeiras in January has cast doubt over Aguero’s long-term future at City, even though the Argentine has scored 31 goals this season.

The two forwards did start together for the draw at Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough on April 30, but struggled before clicking, and they had 12 minutes alongside each other against Leicester after Aguero came on as a late substitute.

“They play at Middlesbrough together and in the first half it was a disaster. The second half was much better. Both them have quality enough to see who wins the game for the side,” Guardiola said. “Gabriel can play on the left side if Aguero is in the middle. They can do that. In Brazil, Gabriel plays most of the time in the left. Of course they can play together. It depends on their behavior and mood.”

Jesus’ penalty means he has scored twice in three matches since returning after two-and-a-half months out with a broken foot.

“We cannot forget that Gabriel was out injured for almost three months. It is still like he is in preseason a little bit,” Guardiola said. “Gabriel is a guy who understands perfectly he has a lot of things to learn. He is open-minded.”

Guardiola’s side made heavy weather of beating Leicester, with Shinji Okazaki’s spectacular volley bringing the visitors back into the game just before halftime.

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