Villarreal left Manchester on Tuesday night with a stream of accusations against City striker Sergio Aguero whom Jose Manuel Llaneza, Villarreal vice president, said had mocked his players following the game after the Argentine scored his side's late winner in the Champions League tie. "What he did doesn't say much for him," Llaneza said. "It seems to me a lack of respect, ethics and comradeship. I thought he had learnt something more. What I am saying concerns Aguero's attitude. I don't understand why he makes fun of fellow professionals for losing."
Carlos Marchena, who put City's first goal into his own net, said: "You have to be a good person as well as a good sportsman, and show class which he [Aguero] hasn't got."
Aguero denied that he was involved in belittling the Villarreal players. Those around the tunnel said that there were raised voices but no physical confrontation, as had been reported. Aguero tweeted: "Everyone can attest to my discipline and professionalism, I wouldn't do something like that." Villarreal had protested that City's winning goal was offside but their coach Juan Carlos Garrido later accepted that was not the case.
To add to the sour aftertaste of the match, Uefa has opened an investigation into City's fans for throwing missiles – screwed up squares of cardboard that had been handed out to supporters to make a fan mosaic – on to the pitch and at the fourth officials during the match. City, though, were yesterday trying to look forward to Sunday's derby at Manchester United with Pablo Zabaleta claiming the club can beat their old rivals.
It was Zabaleta's cross for Aguero that made his fellow Argentine's goal after 93 minutes to close the gap to Napoli in second place in Group A. Zabaleta said: "Of course we believe we can go there [to United] and win. We know we have a great team and the derbies are special games and we are going to Old Trafford to win this game. We have the team for that and we are positive. We are two points ahead of United in the Premier League and we have the chance to make it a bigger difference so its going to be a huge game.
"Both are great players, for each team. Sergio and [Wayne] Rooney are top, top strikers, not just in the Premier League, but around the world as well." Asked to pick one from the two, Zabaleta said: "You know, easily for me, Sergio."