Sergio Aguero showed why he is so important to Manchester City with two quick-fire goals that changed the FA Cup tie with Burnley, according to Pep Guardiola.
City trailed when Aguero latched onto two exquisite Ilkay Gundogan passes to score twice in 94 seconds in the third-round tie that City went onto win 4-1.
Aguero has been concerned about how he fits into the long-term plans at the Etihad but Guardiola said he showed his quality at the way he came to life to score twice after a relatively quiet first half.
“First of all it’s an honour for me to have Sergio Aguero under my command,” the City boss told a news conference. “He’s always a player that wants to play so I can understand that sometimes he’s sad when he doesn’t play but I want him to be happy.
“The quality he has inside in the box he has is amazing, I want him to score a lot of goals. We need his goals. Of course we have other players that can score.
“But Aguero is the kind of player that doesn’t intervene in the first half and then within the matter of seconds he can score two goals and change the game.
“Again he’s a very important player for us and we want to win something he’s an essential player for us.”
Gundogan was the mastermind behind both goals. His first was a quick free kick that caught out the Clarets defence while the second was stylish back heel that played in Aguero.
“Both goals are amazing — the finishing and the assists,” Guardiola said. “They were clever, quick and the second was magnificent dribbling and finishing. Both goals were really good.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche was upset at the opening goal, claiming that the referee should not have allowed the Germany international to take the free kick so quickly.
“I spoke to the referee and he said I don’t have to blow the whistle,” Dyche told a news conference. “I’m bound to be aggrieved by that. There should be some common sense.
“But the next minute-and-a-half was my biggest gripe. Teams like this almost smell that moment and they did.”
The opening goal prompted a small argument between the two managers on the touchline which Guardiola tried to play down, while Dyche described it as being “passionate.”
“I’m sorry, I apologise, I didn’t want to lose control,” Guardiola said. “I said: ‘Leave the referees. Let them do their jobs finally please.’
“I have a lot of respect for what Dyche does and the way they play, of course it’s completely different to the way we want to play, but they do it perfectly, that’s why football is top.
“I think all the managers around the world, especially here, have to let them to do their job. But it finished on the pitch and that’s over.”