EPL

Man City striker Aguero confirms positive coronavirus test

By Sports Desk January 21, 2021

Sergio Aguero has confirmed he is self-isolating after returning a positive test for coronavirus.

The Manchester City striker has missed four straight games after coming into contact with another person who had contracted COVID-19.

Aguero announced his result on Twitter and it is not known when he will be free to return to training.

"After a close contact, I've been self-isolating and the latest test I took was positive for COVID 19," Aguero wrote.

"I had some symptoms and I'm following doctor's orders for recovery. Take care, everyone."

Aguero has played in just five Premier League games and nine matches in all competitions in a stop-start campaign.

Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Ferran Torres have all been utilised as a central attacking option at times this term.

City are unbeaten in their past 16 matches in all competitions and are just two points off leaders Manchester United in the Premier League with a game in a hand.

Pep Guardiola's men face Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup this weekend and also have league matches with West Brom and Sheffield United within the next 10 days.

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    Everton have announced star defender Lucas Digne has signed a new four-year contract.

    The new deal sees the 27-year-old commit to spending the prime of his career at Goodison Park following stints at LaLiga outfit Barcelona, Ligue 1 clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, and a season-long loan at Roma in Serie A.

    During his nearly three seasons on Merseyside, the set-piece specialist has quickly become a key component of the Toffees defensive unit, and their attack, playing 97 games in all competitions.

    Digne has recorded six assists in 16 league games this season, one short of his total in 35 matches from 2019-20, while he claimed four goals and four assists in his debut 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

    The France international has expressed his desire to help lead Carlo Ancelotti's side into the Champions League during his time at the club.

    "In the national team, the competition in my position, and every position, is really strong and I have to play at the best level,” Digne told evertontv, after inking a contract until 2025.

    "I play in the best league and I want to play in the best cup in Europe [Champions League], for sure.

    "And I want to do that with Everton."

    Only Liverpool duo Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold (28) have most assists than Digne (17) of full-backs since he arrived in the Premier League.

    Digne has created the second most chances (166) out of Premier League full-backs in the same period, behind Alexander-Arnold, while he has put in the third most open-play crosses (400).

    He added: "We have a big project with the club and can reach something very good at the end of this season and for the next few years.

    "I have seen the progress every year since joining the club, we are building a strong team.

    "When you sign for Everton, it is like an amazing wedding.

    "You just have to do your best every day to show Evertonians the love you have for them. That is what I do.

    "I want to show them what they give me and it is just amazing.

    "It was clear in my mind that I want to continue with Everton."

  • Ruben Dias giving Bernardo Silva a head for heights Ruben Dias giving Bernardo Silva a head for heights

    Bernardo Silva revealed a personal competition between himself and Manchester City team-mate Ruben Dias helped to inspire his opening goal in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Silva headed City into a 29th-minute lead in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Budapest before nodding down for Gabriel Jesus to score midway through the second half.

    It was the diminutive playmaker's 35th goal for City in all competitions and, perhaps a little surprisingly, his third with his head.

    Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Silva explained he and Portugal team-mate Ruben Dias – a centre-back certainly more adept in the air but yet to open his account for City – are competing to see who can score the most headers this season.

    "Usually I'm not [good at scoring headers]. I try to practice a lot – especially now with Ruben," he said.

    "We make a little competition to see who scores the most goals with the head.

    "I think I was lucky that Joao [Cancelo] gave me a great ball and, yes, I'm happy to have scored and helped the team."

    Speaking at a news conference after the game, boss Pep Guardiola said Silva's work on his heading on the training ground – irrespective of whether it is mainly for bragging rights – had not gone unnoticed.

    "He is really good at headers, he is really good! I saw in the training sessions," he said.

    "When you make an action for a header you have to use the body, not just the head. He used his neck perfectly. He was strong, the goal was fantastic.

    "Attacking midfielders have to arrive in the box and Bernardo and Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan] have this quality."

    Another of Silva's international team-mates, Joao Cancelo, was named man of the match after he supplied a sumptuous cross for the opener and the centre that led to Jesus' close-range effort.

    "He's an amazing player. I've played with him seven years at Benfica. We're from the same generation," Silva added, with Dias also having also come through the ranks with the Lisbon giants.

    "I know him very well, so the connection is good. He knows my timing, I know how good he is on these kind of balls.

    "It was a very good goal because of his passing qualities. Overall, he's been doing a great season and I'm very happy for him."

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    Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City must be sharper in front of goal if they are to end their quest for Champions League glory.

    City won 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest, with Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus on target either side of half-time.

    Despite watching his team show almost complete domination while racking up a 19th consecutive win in all competitions, Guardiola sometimes cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines at the Puskas Arena.

    Speaking to BT Sport after the match, the City boss warned his players not to repeat the mistakes of botched chances that have stained three consecutive quarter-final exits.

    "In general, it was good," he said. "We controlled the game, we concede one chance at the end.

    "Unfortunately, we were not clinical enough up front – one against one, against the defender and keeper

    "It's something we have to improve in this competition.

    "The situation is clear – the one against one against the keeper or against the defenders and we were not able to even dribble.

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    Jesus and Raheem Sterling were among those to show hesitation when presented with opportunities in the Gladbach area, with four of City's nine attempts over the course of the 90 minutes on target.

    Three missed the mark, while a further two were blocked.

    Both goals owed much to Joao Cancelo's sublime deliveries from the left, with Bernardo Silva heading in his fellow Portugal international's cross for the 29th-minute opener.

    Silva then nodded down another fine centre for Jesus to smuggle home after the hour.

    "He has to improve sometimes and take some risks in some positions but he gives us something special in our process of play," Guardiola said of Cancelo.

    "His physicality is so strong. I'm very pleased for the two passes to assist in the final third."

    City have progressed from all four of their previous Champions League two-legged knockout ties when they have won the first leg away from home.

    But Guardiola baulked at the notion of his team being favourites for European glory, having watched holders and his former employers Bayern Munich demolish Lazio 4-1 on Tuesday.

    "When I see Bayern Munich yesterday, I would not think so," he added, before insisting City's sole focus is their next Premier League game this weekend.

    "But my target now is just West Ham. For three weeks, we do not know what happens [in the Champions League].

    "If the people say [we are favourites], we have to accept it. A team who in our whole history have arrived once in the semi-finals. Okay, it's no problem."

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