Belfast Telegraph

Aguero plays down talk of a tunnel bust-up with Messi

By Ian Herbert

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero has said he "heard something" in the players' tunnel after the victory over Barcelona but doesn't know if a reported altercation involving Lionel Messi took place.

Reports in the Spanish media have suggested Aguero stepped in to play the peacemaker after Messi reacted angrily at the end of the game, calling an unnamed City player an "imbecile" and running after him, shouting: "Come back here, don't hide."

City sources have indicated that they saw no such altercation, having been positioned in the tunnel as the players departed from the pitch.

Asked what he had seen, Aguero said: "Nothing. I thought Messi said something to me but he didn't, and then we talked about other stuff."

It was "nothing serious," the Argentine continued.

"I heard something but I don't know what happened."

Aguero said his friend and compatriot Messi had clearly been "feeling bad" when he saw him at the end of the game, in which City recovered from going a goal behind to win 3-1.

"I saw him there, he was feeling bad," the 28-year-old said.

"I know him well enough to know when he's feeling bad, when he's feeling good. But when you lose, nobody's feeling good!"

Aguero dispossessed Messi several times, on one occasion in a turnover of possession which brought a goal, but he said he had not joked with the Barcelona captain about that.

"No, because when one loses you have to respect them," he said.

Aguero also denied that he was guilty of handball before Ilkay Gundogan's 74th-minute goal.

He said: "My hand was by my body, I tried to hit it with the chest. (Goalkeeper Marc-Andre) Ter Stegen gets a touch and it confuses me.

"The hand was by my body and it hit my arm, but there was no intention.

"If you watch the video my hand is by my body, it went past me and Gundogan got it.

"They will always complain about that, obviously. We also had a penalty shout but never said a thing. It's up to the referee."

Aguero insisted he had not been "angry" when dropped by manager Pep Guardiola for the tie in Barcelona a fortnight ago, which City lost 4-0.

"No, I'm never angry. I respect every manager's decision," he explained.

"He said it was a tactical thing and I obviously respect that. When I went on the pitch I tried to give my best and then train hard to be ready for the next game. But no one was in a bad mood."

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