Hull City vs Manchester City: Sergio Aguero takes centre stage to give City a lift for Roma visit

While his strike partner Edin Dzeko attracted the headlines for two fine goals, it was Aguero who put City on their way

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The Independent Online

It is possible to over-estimate the importance of Sergio Aguero to Manchester City, but not, one suspects, by much.

The little Argentine was in London last night, watching Manchester-born Menelik Watson lead out the Oakland Raiders against the Miami Dolphins, after logging another 72 minutes for City in what manager Manuel Pellegrini is being careful to ensure is a steady return to full match fitness.

While his strike partner Edin Dzeko attracted the headlines at Hull for two fine goals, a lovely curling shot from distance and a close-range finish, it was Aguero who put City on their way with a volley after just seven minutes. It was his 56th Premier league goal for City, in 93 games: when he plays, City’s goals per game ratio is 2.3, compared to 2.0 in his absence.

“When he is 100 per cent fit he will make a difference for us, I am sure,” said Pellegrini, but against a defence as porous as Hull’s was in the early stages, Aguero has reached the stage when he already does. Whether Pellegrini decides he is now ready to lead the attack against Roma in tomorrow’s Champions League game, a match City cannot afford to lose after the defeat in Munich two weeks ago, remains to be confirmed, but it would be a major surprise if the 26-year-old is on the bench.

 

One player who may be, however, is Eliaquim Mangala, responsible for giving Hull a way back into the game, first with a bullet-like header past his own goalkeeper, and then fouling Abel Hernandez to concede a penalty. Pellegrini was relaxed, though he may have been less so had Dzeko and then Frank Lampard not confirmed the visitors’ superiority with second-half goals.

“You cannot analyse a player in one match, after the last match [against Chelsea] everybody was saying he was wonderful, the best defender in the world,” said Pellegrini.

Hull City, meanwhile, risked upsetting many of their own supporters by charging £50 for admission. The announcement of the attendance – 22,859, some way short of a full house – was greeted by chants of “50 quid, you’re having a laugh”. With tickets priced at £16, Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace may attract a bigger attendance to see Steve Bruce’s  side try to get their season back on track.

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