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Aguero elbow

By August 29, 2016No Comments

Raheem Sterling scored twice but Sergio Aguero was the centre of controversy as Manchester City continued their winning start to the season against West Ham.

Sterling was outstanding, opening the scoring and adding another late on as City overcame the Hammers 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium for a third successive Premier League win.

Aguero made headlines for less savoury reasons after appearing to elbow Winston Reid during the second half.

The incident went unpunished by referee Andre Marriner and any retrospective disciplinary action could see him banned for games including the derby against Manchester United on September 10.

“I didn’t see so I cannot comment,” said City manager Pep Guardiola. “Hopefully nothing happens. If it happens, we accept and adapt and we will try our best.”

Guardiola was more forthcoming in discussing Sterling, who has enjoyed an outstanding start to the campaign and appears to have been revitalised by Guardiola’s arrival in the summer.

Sterling put City ahead by rounding off a superb move in the seventh minute – a goal that already seemed to have been coming as the hosts started brilliantly – before Fernandinho headed a second.

West Ham, after being outplayed in the first half, replied through Michail Antonio after the break but Sterling settled the contest late on after David Silva had hit the post.

Asked what he had done for Sterling, Guardiola said: “Me? Nothing. I have tried to do the best for all the players, not just Raz.

“Raz has scored two goals – that was good – but the games before this were more brilliant than today. In the first half he scored a goal but didn’t win too many defensive duels, the second half was better.

“But of course we are so pleased, so pleased about his spirit. He can play right, left, he is so dynamic, so aggressive with the ball and without the ball. I am so happy he is playing good.”

The Football Association will await Marriner’s report before deciding whether to take action against Aguero but Hammers boss Slaven Bilic played down the matter.

Reid did appear to have been caught in the throat and he was substituted soon after, but Bilic said that had nothing to do with the incident.

Bilic said: “I didn’t see it at all. I reacted because we wanted to make a sub. We wanted to change the shape. I think he is okay. He is not injured.”

Hammers midfielder Mark Noble said Reid did seem hurt afterwards.

Noble said: “I don’t know what it was about really but I know he can’t really talk. He said he got something to the throat.”

Bilic had no complaints about the result but felt his team recovered after a poor start.

He saud: “You can’t say City didn’t deserve to win but it was a game of two halves. They were deservedly two goals up but in the second half we played much better.”

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