Pep Guardiola rules out starting Sergio Aguero in the Manchester derby with City planning to take star’s return from injury ‘step by step’ after goalscoring cameo in win against Marseille
- Sergio Aguero netted on his return in Manchester City’s victory over Marseille
- The 32-year-old had made just his fifth appearance of the season at the Etihad
- Pep Guardiola has insisted he will not take risks with Aguero after his cameo
- The City boss also ruled out handing Aguero a start in the Manchester derby
Aguero came off the bench to score City’s second goal as they wrapped up their Group C programme with a comfortable 3-0 win over Marseille.
It was only the Argentinian’s fifth appearance of the season after being troubled by knee and hamstring issues.
Pep Guardiola has ruled out starting Sergio Aguero in the Manchester derby against United
Guardiola has said he will not take risks with the 32-year-old and will not be tempted to throw him in from the beginning at Old Trafford.
Asked if Aguero could start the derby, Guardiola simply said: ‘No.’
On his general performance, he added: ‘His instinct to score will always be there. He’s had three or four training sessions and the reaction was good.
The Manchester City talisman made a goalscoring return to the team in the win over Marseille
‘He had 25 minutes and scored a goal. Step by step. Will see the reaction tomorrow.’
Aguero took to Twitter after the game and wrote: ‘Happy to be back, happy for the win. My knee is feeling better and I’m gradually getting back into condition.
My gratitude goes to the physios, the medical and technical staff, my team-mates and the fans for all your support.’
City had already qualified for the last 16 and the victory saw them complete the group stage with a club-best 16 points.
Aguero arrived at the far post to tap home a rebound and seal a successful second half cameo
Ferran Torres opened the scoring early in the second half before Aguero entered the fray in the 67th minute and netted within 10 minutes with a close-range tap-in.
City added a third goal – their 1,000th since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2003 – after a defensive mix-up in the final minute. Raheem Sterling initially claimed it but the final touch was eventually recorded as an own goal off defender Alvaro.
Guardiola said: ‘I’m really happy for the way we played in all the games, without exception. We scored goals, we conceded few. In general we were good in all the games.
‘It’s the next round now and we see the incredible teams, so it’s an interesting draw. Hopefully we will arrive in a good shape, with a good mood and we’ll see.’
Guardiola has insisted that City will take Aguero’s return ‘step by step’ and hailed his reaction
Guardiola, who made nine changes for the game, said he did not yet know his team for the derby.
He said: ‘Now it’s time to celebrate it and tomorrow I am going to think about the Premier League and the derby. We have two days to think about it.’
Guardiola added that midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will be assessed after being taken off at half-time following a knock to the ankle.