Belfast Telegraph

Red-hot Aguero isn't enough to stop Manchester City slipping up yet again

By Geoff Sweet

Sergio Aguero, whose two magical goals saved Manchester City at struggling Queen's Park Rangers and brought his season's Premier League tally to 12, looks the leading contender to challenge Chelsea's Diego Costa for the Golden Boot award at the end of the season.

But as for his club actually winning anything... given City's topsy-turvy form, that's another story. Manuel Pellegrini's side are simply not consistent enough to retain their league title.

There also appears to be little chance of them contesting the business end of the Champions League.

So Aguero, who has pledged to stay at the Etihad until they conquer Europe, seems destined to finish the season on a bitter-sweet note: as the league's top scorer but without a major medal.

City scarcely deserved their point at Loftus Road, where Aguero's individual brilliance merely highlighted how mediocre his team-mates can be.

After his team were outplayed by brave and vibrant Rangers, Pellegrini said: "Sergio is fantastic. He scored two goals, might have had more and it was a great performance by him."

Aguero drew his side level after the excellent Charlie Austin's 21st-minute opener by plucking an Eliaquim Mangala ball out of the sky before weaving past Steven Caulker and sliding a shot past Rob Green.

The goal prompted a heated protest by Green, who insisted Aguero had handled, while he might also have been offside in the first place.

Aguero's second was carbon-copy technique in controlling Yaya Toure's lofted pass and this time bamboozling Richard Dunne before firing past Green with seven minutes left.

City saw Dunne and Caulker clear off the line from Aguero and substitute James Milner respectively, but this was still QPR's game.

Austin headed their 21st-minute opener - his sixth this season - and unleashed the 76th-minute cross from which Martin Demichelis headed an own goal. He also forced a fabulous first-half save from Joe Hart and so nearly turned in Eduardo Vargas's 63rd-minute volley.

Austin also had two disallowed goals, one for offside and another after Hart double-touched in taking a free-kick.

The unrealistic talk is of an England call-up. But the QPR manager, Harry Redknapp, said: "Charlie is a fantastic boy, someone who really appreciates being a footballer.

"Roy Hodgson will see him but he must keep scoring to push himself into the picture."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph