An injury to star striker Sergio Aguero cast a shadow over Manchester City’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Everton in the English Premier League on Saturday. Yaya Toure converted a first-half penalty as City cut Chelsea’s lead at the top to only three points, but the immediate concern was for top scorer Aguero.
The Argentine appeared in tears after hurting his left knee in the second minute of what proved a dull contest at Etihad , giving City a major Champions League fitness scare. City travels to Roma for its decisive final group game on Wednesday. It is already without the suspended Toure while two other key players, Vincent Kompany and David Silva, require fitness tests.
“(Aguero) has a problem in his ligament, in his knee,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. “We will see tomorrow how serious it is but it’s not good news, I don’t think he will be able to play next week.” Aguero went down clutching his knee after a challenge by Muhamed Besic.
He limped halfway round the field and headed down the tunnel, leaving City anxiously awaiting news of his condition.
Edin Dzeko, back on the bench after a calf injury, initially seemed the man to take his place but Pellegrini opted to give youngster Jose Pozo a chance in the lone front role. The loss of Aguero dampened the atmosphere and it was not until the 20th minute that City first seriously threatened but Toure dragged a shot well wide.
The picture changed soon after when referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot after a coming together between James Milner and Phil Jagielka in the area. Milner went down but quickly got up and did not appear to be looking for a penalty, but Marriner felt he had been impeded. Toure did not argue and rifled home the spot kick.
Chances were few and far between, although Samir Nasri created a good opportunity for City with a nice turn, only for Sylvain Distin to get his head in the way. At the other end Kevin Mirallas had a volley deflected wide as he latched on to Pablo Zabaleta’s clearance.
Andy Carroll displayed the attributes that once made him one of the world’s most expensive players to guide West Ham to a 3-1 win over Swansea and third place in the English Premier League on Sunday.
Aston Villa also rallied Sunday to beat bottom side Leicester 2-1 and seal back-to-back wins that lifted the team clear of relegation trouble and into 11th place.
After Ron, leo scores hat-trick
Lionel Messi scored yet another hat-trick and surpassed 400 club goals as Barcelona came from behind to win the Catalan derby 5-1 against Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday.
The Argentine, who holds the La Liga and Champions League scoring records, produced a now familiar devastating performance to take his record to 402 goals for Barca in all competitions, including 28 in friendlies. He produced his tour de force, predictably, just a day after Cristiano Ronaldo, his rival for title of world’s best player, scored a La Liga record 23rd hat-trick against Celta Vigo for Real Madrid.
Former Barca player Sergio Garcia put Espanyol ahead at the Nou Camp but Messi, who had earlier hit the crossbar with a free kick, equalised before halftime, his landmark 400th goal coming with a clinical strike from the edge of the area.
Shortly after the break, Luis Suarez found the Argentine and he again hit the corner of the net from a similar distance.