Aguero, De Bruyne shine as Manchester City beats Sheffield United

A contentious goal from Sergio Aguero and a clinical finish from Kevin De Bruyne got Manchester City over the line against Sheffield United.

Published : Dec 30, 2019 07:45 IST

Sergio Aguero celebrates against Sheffield United
Sergio Aguero celebrates against Sheffield United

Sergio Aguero celebrates against Sheffield United

Manchester City was on the right side of some contentious decisions as Sergio Aguero's controversial goal and a late Kevin De Bruyne effort earned a 2-0 win over Sheffield United, Pep Guardiola's 100th in the Premier League.

With leader Liverpool having extended the gap at the top with a win over Wolves, City was fortunate not to fall behind in the first half when Lys Mousset had a goal harshly disallowed by VAR.

However, there was more controversy to follow, with the visitor incensed after referee Chris Kavanagh failed to stop the play despite accidentally blocking off John Fleck in the build-up to Sergio Aguero's opener.

VAR did come to the Blades' assistance when it deemed John Egan had not deliberately handled a Riyad Mahrez shot, though City had the points wrapped up when De Bruyne lashed in with eight minutes remaining, as Guardiola reached 100 wins in 134 matches to break Jose Mourinho's record.

With Mousset having squandered an early header, United thought it had the lead when the striker kept his cool to slot beyond Claudio Bravo, who was starting in place of the suspended Ederson, only for VAR to disallow the goal for a marginal offside call.

REPORT| Premier League: Liverpool leans on VAR to edge past Wolves

Mousset got the better of City's defence again prior to half-time, yet sliced his effort into the side-netting after latching onto Oliver Norwood's pass.

Despite its poor display, City took the lead six minutes into the second half - Aguero clinically drilling in his 10th league goal of the season.

United was adamant the goal should not have stood due to the referee's accidental interference, but VAR once more went against it.

City then wanted a penalty when Egan blocked Mahrez's shot, though its claims were rejected despite the ball hitting the defender's arm.

Any hopes of a comeback were ended soon after as De Bruyne calmly swept home, though Billy Sharp went agonisingly close to setting up a grandstand finish with a looping header which hit the upright and rolled across the line as United's unbeaten run on the road came to an end at nine.


What does it mean? City gives itself breathing room

With Liverpool so far ahead, the title race seems all but over, though City could have been looking over its shoulder had it failed to win, with Chelsea coming from behind to beat Arsenal earlier on Sunday. 

As it is, the champions has restored the six-point gap between itself and Frank Lampard's side, though it still sits a point behind Leicester City in second.

Aguero rediscovers his home comforts

It was a far from a vintage all-round display from Aguero, but when he was put through by De Bruyne's pass, he never looked likely to fluff his lines to score his first home league goal since November 2.

City's ramshackle defence get lucky thanks to VAR

Hindered by a lack of options, Guardiola handed a first Premier League start to 18-year-old Eric Garcia, though the youngster - alongside Fernandinho - was often caught out by the pace of Mousset and the speed of United's counters. 

Indeed, only a marginal offside decision sparred City's blushes. It will surely look to bring in defensive reinforcements in January.

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