Aguero doubtful for Manchester City's trip to Watford

Pep Guardiola saw Manchester City put in an uneven display against Bournemouth without Sergio Aguero, but will not rush the striker back.

Sergio Aguero and Pep Guardiola during the Manchester derby.   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola insists he will take no risks with Sergio Aguero's fitness when Manchester City visits Watford on Tuesday.

The Premier League leader battled to a 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, with Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan on target as City's all-time top scorer Aguero looked on from the stands.

READ | Man City 3 Bournemouth 1: Sterling picks off Cherries again

Before the match, Guardiola confirmed the Argentina striker was resting up due to a "muscular disturbance" and afterwards conceded there are no guarantees he will return in midweek.

"We will see the day after tomorrow [Monday]. We do not want to take any risks," said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.

"If Sergio becomes injured we will lose him for a long number of days and we can't afford to do that."

In Aguero's absence, Sterling produced the game-breaking contribution and moved level with his esteemed team-mate on eight Premier League goals this season.

The England winger has also eight in six top-flight appearances against Bournemouth and Guardiola pointed to a mazy dribble and shot against the post shortly before Sterling's goal as the moment City roused from a mid-game slumber that saw Callum Wilson cancel out Silva's opener.

"In the second half, the action from Raheem changed the game," he said.

"From that our crowd was with us. In the first half it was silent and we have to help our fans. They are not going to help us if we don't help them.

"Also, Fabian Delph [on for the injured Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back] helped us to find our rhythm and the second half was much, much better.

"Sometimes it is complicated. Here [in the head] we always have to be ready.

"Raheem, for example, in the first half was not involved. In the second half he changed the game."

 

Guardiola's opposite number Eddie Howe was left to rue a missed opportunity, with Bournemouth pushing City far harder than on its previous visit to the Etihad Stadium – three matches in which it ran up an aggregate scoreline of 13-1 against.

"We knew we were going to be without the ball for long periods of the game. You have to accept that when you come here," Howe said.

"We went behind and responded really well. Even in the second half we had moments. The goals were scrappy. They didn't really cut through us with beautiful football and we kick ourselves for that.

"I wouldn't say we let ourselves down. The plan worked and we're frustrated because we had good moments. I think we learn every time we come here and this is the closest we have come.

"We haven't been outplayed for many moments of the game. It's just the key moments where we haven't been clinical."

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