LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini had words of warning for defenders facing Sergio Aguero in the second half of the Premier League season — he is just going to keep getting better.
Aguero headed home the winner as City produced a superb late comeback to beat Watford 2-1 on Saturday, his first goal since November after he sat out three weeks with a heel injury last month.
The Argentine has endured a stop-start season and was sidelined for seven games with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty earlier in the campaign.
Yet Pellegrini feels there were signs in Aguero’s performance against Watford that the striker, who hit 26 league goals last season, was returning to his best.
“Aguero needs two to three games to return to his normal level of performance,” Pellegrini told the BBC.
“The goal was important for him. Before that he made a lot of good moments. I’m sure we’ll see in the second part of the season the performances we’re used to from him…
“I think he made a lot of better movement than the last games.”
City had looked to be heading for a defeat that would have left them six points adrift of Arsenal at the Premier League summit when Aleksandar Kolarov glanced a header into his own net from a corner.
The match, however, turned on its head as Yaya Toure volleyed home on 82 minutes, directing Kolarov’s corner into the top corner, before Aguero headed in a Bacary Sagna cross two minutes later.
Pellegrini said the comeback, which ended a run of six away league games without victory, showed his side had “character”.
“We never gave up,” he said. “We continued trying to score, always thinking we were able to score.
“We were losing 1-0 and had to take a risk. A draw was not good — we needed three points. It was a very close, tough game for both teams. Watford are in a good moment. But I think we deserved to win — more shots, shots on target and possession.
“We are not sending messages. It was important to end the six away games without a win.”
(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Alan Baldwin)