WATFORD, United Kingdom, Sep 17 – Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to pay tribute to Sergio Aguero when the Argentine “legend” becomes their record goalscorer.
Aguero grabbed a hat-trick in City’s 6-0 rout of Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday and stands just two goals behind Eric Brook’s all-time mark of 177 in the 1920s and 1930s.
City boss Guardiola believes it is now simply a question of when, not if, Aguero claims the record as his own and he hopes his club mark the occasion in style.
“Sergio now needs three goals to beat the record. It will be soon,” he said.
“Hopefully we can make a good celebration because he’s a legend, a part of the history of the club. That’s good for him.
“He’s a guy that I encourage to play, not just to score a goal.”
Guardiola also paid tribute to Aguero’s unselfishness after disobeying Guardiola’s orders to allow Raheem Sterling to take the 89th minute penalty which completed the rout of Watford.
“Sergio showed again what a good guy he is. I like penalties to be taken by the penalty taker, but I understand that Raheem created the penalty and it was with my blessing that Sergio gave it to him when it is already 0-5,” Guardiola said.
Gabriel Jesus and Nicolas Otamendi were City’s other goalscorers as they leapt over Manchester neighbours United to the top of the Premier League table.
Unlike last season when his side’s thrilling start to the campaign saw them win 10 straight games in all competitions only to end the season without a trophy, Guardiola believes his side are better equipped to maintain their form in this campaign.
– Fundamentals –
“Last season we won with the enthusiasm for the new manager and the new players. Some games we won because we were new,” he said.
“I think we are more stable now. The players know me better, I know them better. The fundamentals are the same as last season but we have good players and a good spirit.
“It’s not easy to score 15 goals in eight days. Sometimes you have weeks like that and I am curious how we are going to react to it.
“It doesn’t matter who plays. Hopefully we can keep the same team spirit.”
Watford manager Marco Silva knows his team’s season will not be defined by this result.
But he is adamant his players must learn to handle teams who possess City’s power up front.
“It was not a good afternoon for us, but it is a good match for our team to learn from,” he said.
“City came here to play a strong match. They only changed one player from Wednesday.
“To compete at this level we need to keep our focus and our organisation every time and through the match.
“We need to look forward. We lost only three points and I repeat it is a good game for us to analyse.
“It is difficult to play against City, not only Aguero. What they did here this afternoon, they did eight days before against Liverpool and then in the Champions League.”
Silva complained that two of City’s first three goals were offside and then that his team were denied a clear penalty.
“When the referees make mistakes, it makes it more difficult. It is clear that the referee made mistakes,” he said.
“I will show my players their mistakes and how to learn from them. I hope the referee does the same thing.”