Diego Godin compared in-demand Inter team-mate Lautaro Martinez to Luis Suarez and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero amid links to Barcelona.

Martinez has reportedly emerged as Barca's top transfer target, with the LaLiga champions keen to sign a long-term replacement for veteran forward Suarez.

Barca's LaLiga rivals Madrid are also reportedly interested, while Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City have both been linked.

Inter defender Godin heaped praise on 22-year-old Argentina international Martinez, who had scored 16 goals across all competitions before Serie A was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Lautaro is similar to Luis and Sergio Aguero," the Uruguayan centre-back told ESPN.

"He's learning to play using his whole body, with his back to the ball. He's a football player.

"His confidence has a high ceiling and he's maturing with every match. You can spot things in him that tell you he'll be around for 10 or 15 years."

Martinez swapped Racing Club for Inter in 2018 and he has quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after forwards in European football.

He has scored 25 goals in total since joining Inter from Racing Club in Argentina.

Independiente head coach Lucas Pusineri hopes Manchester City star Sergio Aguero one day returns to the club.

Aguero came through the youth ranks at Independiente before joining Atletico Madrid in 2006 and moving to City five years later.

His former Independiente team-mate, Pusineri, is now in charge of the Argentine club and wants Aguero – and Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia – to return.

"With Sergio Aguero and Lucas Biglia I have a beautiful relationship," he told InfiernoRojo on Tuesday.

"We were partners and I have a lot of respect for the trajectories they have taken with Argentina and in Europe as well."

Pusineri added: "Of course it would be nice to have them tomorrow. In the future, it is hopeful to count on them."

Aguero has said previously he wants to return to Independiente, although his contract at City runs until 2021.

He scored 23 goals in 30 games before this season was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk labelled Barcelona great Lionel Messi his toughest opponent.

Van Dijk and Messi went head-to-head last season, when Liverpool produced an incredible second-leg comeback to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Netherlands international paid tribute to Messi, a record six-time Ballon d'Or winner who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time.

"There are some difficult strikers out there, but probably Leo Messi," Van Dijk wrote on Twitter when asked who his toughest opponent was.

However, Van Dijk also credited Sergio Aguero, having faced the Manchester City forward regularly in recent seasons.

Asked who the hardest player to mark was, the defender replied: "Aguero."

Van Dijk said he was "feeling fine" and would be ready to go when the Premier League season, which is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, resumes.

Liverpool held a 25-point lead atop the table when the season was stopped.

Europe's top five leagues have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and there is widespread uncertainty over the future of the 2019-20 season.

Will tournaments be completed when conditions are suitable? Will things finish as they are? Will the campaign be declared null and void?

With the help of Opta, we look back over the previous 10 seasons to see who would have been crowned champions if the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga had stopped where there are now.

 

Aguer-no!

It was an iconic moment in Premier League history. Sergio Aguero scored Manchester City's second stoppage-time goal as they came from behind to defeat QPR 3-2 and clinch their first top-flight title in 44 years, beating crestfallen arch-rivals Manchester United to the trophy on the final day of the season.

However, if the campaign had been stopped where it is now it would have been United who were celebrating due to a one-point advantage.

It is the only occasion since 2009-10 that the team on top after 29 matchdays has not won the Premier League.

 

Atleti's title wiped out

Atletico Madrid incredibly broke the Barcelona and Real Madrid duopoly in LaLiga in 2013-14, with Diego Godin salvaging a draw at Camp Nou on the final day to ensure they finished top of the pile.

However, it was local rivals Real Madrid, led by Carlo Ancelotti, who sat three points clear after 27 games of the season, meaning Diego Simeone's crowning achievement would not have occurred.

The only other instance of a team being displaced in the final 11 matches came in 2009-10, when Madrid sat ahead of Barca on goal difference but ended up seeing Pep Guardiola's men go on to win LaLiga for a second straight season.

 

Juventus dominance broken up

Eight straight Serie A titles have seen Juventus create history in Italy, but they would have only managed five if the previous seasons stopped after 26 games – the total the majority of clubs have completed in 2019-20.

The Bianconeri went undefeated under Antonio Conte in 2011-12, although it was Milan who topped the table at this point in the campaign, meaning Massimiliano Allegri would have won successive Scudetti at San Siro.

Maurizio Sarri would also not have had to have waited until winning the Europa League with Chelsea last year for his first major title.

Sarri's Napoli only surrendered top spot to Juve on matchday 27 in 2017-18 and they failed to recover it, missing out on their best chance to finish top since the Diego Maradona era.

 

QSI off to the perfect start

The landscape of Ligue 1 changed dramatically when Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) bought Paris Saint-Germain in June 2011, although no silverware was added to the Parc des Princes trophy cabinet in the first season following the takeover.

However, they would have been crowned champions had the 2011-12 season finished after 28 games, denying a Montpellier side powered by the goals of Olivier Giroud an unlikely first Ligue 1 title.

There would have been bad news for PSG in 2014-15, though, as the trophy would have gone to Hubert Fournier's Lyon due to a one-point margin.

Bordeaux would have made it back-to-back titles in 2009-10, too, with Marseille having made the most of a collapse that saw Laurent Blanc's side slip from first to sixth over the final 10 matches.

 

Bundesliga business as usual

What changes with the Bundesliga title winners if you stop the previous 10 seasons after 25 games? Nothing.

Bayern Munich would have won eight championships to Borussia Dortmund's two.

The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has been suspended at least until April 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been 1,372 confirmed cases of the virus and 35 deaths in the United Kingdom, prompting a pause in the football season.

The disruption comes with Liverpool just two wins away from a first league title in 30 years, while Manchester United are improving in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the most interesting facts relating to England's 'Big Six' and their campaigns so far.


LIVERPOOL

- Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the pile but do not look as defensively solid as they did in the 2018-19 season. Liverpool have conceded 21 times in the league so far this term, just one goal fewer than in their entire previous 38-game campaign.

- Roberto Firmino finally ended a long wait for an Anfield goal against Atletico Madrid this week. It was his first home Liverpool strike in 20 games in all competitions since netting against Porto in April 2019, 337 days earlier.

- The Reds were just starting to wobble slightly. With the reverse at home to Atletico, Liverpool have lost four of their past six matches in all competitions – as many defeats as in their previous 67 games.


MANCHESTER CITY

- Manchester City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than they had in their previous two campaigns combined.

- Heading into the break, Sergio Aguero had scored 180 Premier League goals for Manchester City. Only Wayne Rooney - 183 for United - has scored more for a single team in the competition's history, with Aguero passing Thierry Henry - 175 for Arsenal - earlier this term.

- Kevin De Bruyne has become the first player to register 15 or more assists in three different Premier League seasons. Only Cesc Fabregas had previously done so in more than one campaign.


CHELSEA

- Chelsea have lost five Premier League home games already this season. Only in 1994-95 - seven times - have they been beaten more often at Stamford Bridge.

- The Blues are also still winless away from home in the league in 2020, drawing three and losing one of their four matches. They last endured a longer such run in the 2015-16 season, failing to taste victory over seven straight away trips.

- Frank Lampard has been reliant on homegrown talent this season. Only Leicester City (31) and Southampton (24) have more goals from English players than Chelsea's 21 - level with United.


MANCHESTER UNITED

- United are unbeaten in 11 in all competitions, but their points return of 45 is still their lowest through 29 games of a Premier League season.

- Bruno Fernandes has inspired their change in fortunes, though, and he has been involved in more Premier League goals (five - two goals, three assists) since his February 1 debut than any other player.

- At 25 years and 86 days old, United have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season.


TOTTENHAM

- No side have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League than Tottenham's four this season. The last time they kept so few in the first 29 matches of a campaign was in 2006-07 (also four).

- Spurs are missing Harry Kane (131.18 minutes per goal), Son Heung-min (152.31 mins per goal) and now January signing Steven Bergwijn (280.5 mins per goal) through injury. Dele Alli has the best minutes per goal ratio - 298 - among the rest of the squad in all competitions this season.


ARSENAL

- Arsenal have drawn 13 Premier League games this season - already their highest such tally since 17 in 1993-94.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 17 goals have been worth 16 points to Arsenal this season. Only Sadio Mane's 14 goals have been worth more (18 points) to a single club.

Sergio Aguero suffered an apparent thigh injury during Manchester City's Premier League match at Manchester United on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola's side were trailing 1-0 to Anthony Martial's first-half opener when Aguero – who had a goal disallowed for offside shortly beforehand – made way in the 59th minute.

A member of City's medical staff was then seen applying an ice pack to the Argentina striker's right thigh.

Aguero's fitness now looks likely to be a cause for concern for Guardiola, as his side head into a busy period of the season – including their Champions League last-16 return clash against Real Madrid on March 17.

Manchester City could let Sergio Aguero leave at the end of the season, according to a report.

City were handed a two-season Champions League ban last month over Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, although they are appealing the ruling.

However, that could lead to a big-name exit at the end of the campaign.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY COULD LET AGUERO LEAVE AT END OF SEASON

Manchester City are willing to let Aguero go if they fail to overturn the European ban, according to The Sun.

The report says the 31-year-old Argentina forward would be allowed to leave if he indicated he wanted to do so despite being contracted until 2021.

Aguero is the Premier League club's all-time leading goalscorer and is enjoying another fine campaign, netting 23 times in 29 games.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luka Jovic has struggled at Real Madrid and could be set for a switch. AS reports Napoli are considering a move for the 22-year-old forward, who has scored just twice this season after joining Madrid for a reported €60million from Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Chelsea seem ready to move on from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Daily Express reports the Premier League club have been alerted to the potential availability of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is said to be weighing up his future at Barcelona. The Mirror reports Chelsea are monitoring Dean Henderson, who has impressed on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United.

- Also at Stamford Bridge, The Mirror reports Tammy Abraham has rejected a contract offer from Chelsea. Abraham – who has 15 goals this season – has a deal until 2022 but reportedly wants fresh terms similar to the club's other stars before recommitting.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Manchester City are prepared to spend £80m (€92.5m) on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to the Daily Express.

- With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang perhaps set for an Arsenal exit, CalcioMercato reports Inter are considering a move for the forward, who played for AC Milan's youth team but never made an appearance for the senior side.

- Everton are eyeing a move for Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin in the close season, according to The Sun.

Sergio Aguero scored his 20th FA Cup goal as holders Manchester City beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Hillsborough to reach the quarter-finals.

The Argentinian's 53rd-minute strike proved the difference as Pep Guardiola's side made it five successive wins in all competitions, matching their best run of victories in 2019-20.

Defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy struck the woodwork either side of half-time before Championship side Wednesday's resistance was eventually broken.

Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith got a hand to Aguero's strike but could not prevent the ball going over the line as City's all-time leading scorer registered his 254th goal for the club.

Gabriel Jesus and Aguero were both in the City starting line-up and the former headed a 20th-minute chance wide from a John Stones cross.

Aguero spotted his fellow forward's run seven minutes later but the Brazilian failed to get a good connection on a stretching volley when free six yards out.

Otamendi nodded against the crossbar from a free-kick delivered by Riyad Mahrez, who also picked out Stones from a set-piece only for the defender to miss the target when his downward header hit the ground and bounced over the top.

There was a greater impetus from City after the break, though, as Mendy's first-time effort cannoned off the frame of the goal in a sign Guardiola's half-time words had worked.

Wednesday did not heed the warning, with Aguero left in enough space in the box to collect Mendy's pass, turn and fire a shot which looped off Wildsmith's left arm and went in.

Replays showed it was a close call over whether Aguero was onside or had strayed beyond last man Dominic Iorfa, though the absence of VAR at Wednesday's ground meant there was no closer inspection.

Wildsmith did redeem himself somewhat by thwarting Stones, Rodri and substitute Raheem Sterling with his legs, while another more conventional save with his hands denied Mahrez.

However, Wednesday failed to register a shot on target across the piece and mustered their only effort overall in the sixth minute as Aguero's strike proved enough to send City into the last eight.

 

What does it mean? Treble (of sorts) still on for City

Guardiola's men won the EFL Cup for a third successive season on Sunday, though a repeat of last term's domestic treble appears highly unlikely given Liverpool's 22-point lead in the Premier League.
Yet City could still end the campaign with three trophies having beaten Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie last week. With a fifth straight win, they are hitting form at the right time.

Aguero the difference again

A second-half winner at Hillsborough took Aguero's tally for the season to 23 in all competitions, more than any other player in the Premier League.

In reaching 254 goals for City, he also moved beyond Wayne Rooney's record haul of 253 with Manchester United, a statistic that those of a blue persuasion will particularly enjoy…

Another quiet night for Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva was one of City's best players last season but has been a shadow of himself in 2019-20.

Here he made just one key pass – compared to five for Jesus and four for David Silva – and had just one shot compared to Mahrez's six. This was Bernardo Silva's chance to further his case for inclusion in crucial Champions League games and it was hardly persuasive.

What's next?

It is the small matter of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday next for City. Wednesday, currently residing in the middle of the Championship table, travel to Brentford the previous day.

The 19-year-old man of the match strolled through the Wembley mixed zone on Sunday evening wearing a beaming grin along with his winners' medal, only to receive one more instruction from his manager.

"Phil, you must!" said Pep Guardiola, gesturing towards the gaggle of waiting journalists, eagerly wanting a piece of Phil Foden.

But no sooner had he headed towards the microphones, the midfielder was told in no uncertain terms it was time to go right now as the team bus was ready to leave.

It meant Manchester City's coach driver had done something largely beyond Aston Villa for the duration of Sunday's EFL Cup final by stopping Foden from doing whatever he wanted. 

City continued their recent dominance of the competition with a third successive triumph thanks to first-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Rodri, before Mbwana Samatta pulled one back in the 41st minute for a valiant Villa.

It proved a day to savour for City's old guard. Aguero, Fernandinho and David Silva now have five winners' medals apiece from English football's mid-season final.

Club record goalscorer Aguero settled nerves after a scrappy start with a typically astute piece of poaching. Ever the man for the big occasion, the Argentina star has been directly involved in eight goals across 10 Wembley appearances, while Villa will be sick of the sight of a man boasting 10 strikes in his past six outings against them.

Within the context of Aymeric Laporte's injury struggles this season, Fernandinho has shifted seamlessly from defensive midfield lynchpin to become City's most reliable option at centre-back.

The 35-year-old typically provides an expert combination of aggression and poise while his rotating cast of partners cough up goal-causing mistakes.

Fernandinho's probing, purposeful passing from deep to get Guardiola's men back on the front foot early in the second half after John Stones' forlorn grapple with gravity in the build up to Samatta's powerful header ensured both sides of that equation were clearly evident at the national stadium.

Aguero and Fernandinho are under contract for 2021-22 but the current campaign amounts to a victory lap for the mercurial Silva, who will end a glorious decade in Manchester over the next three months.

Guardiola has frequently stated his plan for the club captain to symbolically pass the torch to Foden, who has waited diligently in the wings since his 2017 debut as the understudy to City's twinkling left-footed magician.

The realities of elite sport and the passage of time mean succession planning is rarely completely smooth, however, and the match against Villa often felt like Foden ripping the baton from his mentor's hand and tearing off on a journey mapped out in boyhood dreams.

Across 90 minutes in which Villa's refusal to go quietly was the main factor in City lacking the relentless rhythm that defines their best work, Foden was their most reliable outlet.

No-one else in their Hacienda-inspired black shirts led the dance as the teenager did, unquestionably the player most in tune with Guardiola's "take the ball, pass the ball" mantra when in opposition territory.

Foden completed 90 per cent of his 41 passes in the Villa half, set against 87.5 per cent of 32 from Silva, who he also outstripped in overall touches (71 to 57) and tenacity – (7/10 duels won to 3/8).

All the unmistakable Silva visuals remain – gliding into pockets of space in front of defenders and receiving the ball with eloquent mischief, all while shuffling easily as if in his favourite pair of carpet slippers.

And yet, each refined movement feels the tiniest split-second slower. Opponents can now generally close out those shafts of light where the 34-year-old used to thread his most delightful passes.

Foden became the player most familiar with the whites of Aston Villa eyes, daring them not to blink. One particularly velvety touch on the end of Oleksandr Zinchenko's raking 29th-minute pass almost brought a goal to savour.

Guardiola talked up the youngster's goal threat afterwards and no City player could match his five attempts on the day. Although not noted for his aerial ability, Foden's 20th-minute knockdown for Aguero means he now has seven assists to go with a pair of goals in 10 competitive starts in 2019-20.

Even without those impressive numbers, the evidence presented to 82,149 spectators was enough. On a gala day for City's most influential players of the past 10 years, Foden made a statement of intent for the decade to come.

Pep Guardiola has lauded Sergio Aguero for his "incredible" reaction to learning he was not in the starting line-up against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Neither Aguero nor David Silva got off the bench as City claimed a 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu to take control of the Champions League last-16 tie.

Both players, along with Raheem Sterling, will now be pushing to start on Sunday when City aim to win a third EFL Cup in a row by defeating Aston Villa at Wembley.

Far from feeling they reacted angrily to being left out of the side in the Spanish capital, Guardiola has called for every player to follow the example set by Silva, Sterling and Aguero in particular.

"In these three guys, the behaviour in the locker toom was an incredible exception, specifically these three players," he said on Friday. "It was exceptional. I'm so proud about the reaction they had, knowing they wanted to play, of course, I understand that.

"Sergio was incredible, honestly, I never could express my gratitude and my thanks to him, to understand me a little bit and to help the team, being a legend as he is for what he has done for this club. I need him; we need him. I know he is ready to help us, and David as well, and even John [Stones], and Oleks [Zinchenko], and Eric [Garcia] as well, on the bench. My complete gratitude. I would love all the players to be like them."

Guardiola hopes the result in Madrid gives his side confidence as they aim to win what would be an eighth domestic trophy out of the last 11 available to them.

Along with back-to-back EFL Cup and Premier League triumphs, City have also won two Community Shields and last season's FA Cup since finishing empty-handed in Guardiola's first campaign in charge.

"Of course, it's better, it's much better to go to play a final after a good result in Madrid but we cannot live a final thinking how good we were," he said. 

"[The tie] is not done, first of all. Always I thought that it's incredibly difficult to win at big, big clubs, but it's an incredible challenge, more difficult to beat them twice. Normally, it doesn't happen. The big clubs can lose one game, but two? Rarely, it's not often. But it helps. In football, teams are a state of emotion. It's better to go to play a final not just with results but with the character, the way we played.

"For the Manchester City fans, they are going to remember [this period]. After winning the Carabao Cup for the first time, we have played 11 competitions. If tomorrow [Sunday] we win, it's eight [trophies], eight from 11 is incredible, and the last six domestic titles, being in the race for them and to win all of them, if we are able to win it…

"There are no words to express the gratitude to the players and the people working together to achieve it. It's so difficult. Honestly. It's so difficult to maintain. Now, we've played [for] 10 tiles, and we've won seven. It's massive."  

Guardiola hopes authorities will take only appropriate action amid the proliferation of the novel coronavirus, which is already impacting fixtures across Europe, particularly in Italy.

"It's a worldwide situation," he said. "Always I would like, when we are informed from authorities, politicians, the people in charge, to be serious about the message they are going to tell us as citizens. I think that is the most important thing.

"I think worldwide they are doing as much as possible to eradicate it but try to avoid if it's not necessary to make a big alarm for society. They have a duty to inform what is exactly the situation and prevent if we need it. If not: calm, work and make a normal life for everyone."

Guardiola expects Aymeric Laporte to be sidelined for up to a month with a hamstring problem sustained in Madrid, but the City manager had better news on Leroy Sane, who is to play for the Under-23 side as part of his recovery from a serious knee injury.

"There are a few things I don't like about your country, for example the academy teams cannot play in strongest leagues, but at the same time it's an incredible, good decision here in England that players for the first team, to recover, can play in the second one for their recovery," he added.

"I don't want to put a target line [on his first-team comeback]. We will see the game and speak with him. How does he feel? How did he feel against Arsenal? But it's good."

Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have been named on the bench by Pep Guardiola for the first leg of Manchester City's Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid.

Sterling has missed the majority of February due to a thigh strain, but Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday the 25-year-old – who has five Champions League goals to his name this season – would be fit to return at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The England forward has only been deemed fit enough to take a place among the substitutes however, and he is joined on the bench by City's leading scorer, Aguero.

Gabriel Jesus, who replaced Aguero and scored the winning goal against Leicester City on Saturday, starts up front in one of two changes to City's team – the Brazil international has scored four goals in five Champions League games this term.

Jesus' compatriot Fernandinho is a surprise omission, with Nicolas Otamendi partnering Aymeric Laporte at the back.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, has made three alterations to his side following a 1-0 defeat at Levante last time out.

Toni Kroos is replaced by Federico Valverde in midfield, while Ferland Mendy is in for Marcelo at left-back and the injured Eden Hazard makes way for Vinicius Junior, who is preferred to Gareth Bale.

Karim Benzema leads Madrid's line and will become the sixth player to make 100 Champions League appearances for the club, with Sergio Ramos making a record 124th start.

After Gabriel Jesus saw a penalty saved in a 1-0 win at Sheffield United in January, Pep Guardiola identified goalkeeper Ederson as Manchester City's best spot-kick option.

"Ederson is the best. Believe me, Eddie is the best taker we have on the penalties," said the City boss last month.

"He has no blood in his brains, he's so calm, so he could do it."

With Sergio Aguero seeing an effort from 12 yards stopped by Kasper Schmeichel in City's 1-0 victory at Leicester City on Saturday, Guardiola may now have to consider passing the duties to his keeper.

City have failed with four of their seven penalties in the Premier League this season, and here we reflect on their struggles in 2019-20.

August 10, 2019: Sergio Aguero v West Ham - SCORED

There were signs of what was to come for City from the spot this season even in an opening-day 5-0 win. Aguero netted City's fourth from 12 yards, but only after referee Mike Dean had ordered a retake for encroachment, Lukasz Fabianski having saved his tame initial effort.

September 21, 2019: Sergio Aguero v Watford - SCORED

Aguero needed no second invitation in City's 8-0 thrashing of Watford, scoring the second goal with a confident low penalty struck straight down the middle after team-mate Riyad Mahrez had been fouled by visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster.

December 21, 2019: Ilkay Gundogan v Leicester City - SCORED

Schmeichel was unfortunate not to deny Gundogan in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium, the Germany international just beating his outstretched arm to find the bottom-right corner and put the reigning league champions 2-1 up in an eventual 3-1 win prior to Christmas.

December 27, 2019: Raheem Sterling v Wolves - MISSED

The start of City's dreadful recent run of missed penalties began in a thrilling 3-2 defeat at Molineux. Sterling was given a second chance after Rui Patricio kept out his first attempt, with a retake ordered. The Portugal keeper denied him again, only for Sterling to tuck away the rebound.

January 21, 2020: Gabriel Jesus v Sheffield United - MISSED

The failure that sparked Guardiola's Ederson remarks saw Brazil international Jesus thwarted, Dean Henderson – on loan at the Blades from Manchester United, of course – moved to his right to palm clear with a diving, two-handed save.

February 2, 2020: Ilkay Gundogan v Tottenham - MISSED

Gundogan went for the same formula that saw him score against Leicester, but Hugo Lloris went low to his left to deny him in the first half, with claims for another penalty after the France international felled Sterling in pursuit of the rebound rejected following a VAR review.

February 22, 2020 Sergio Aguero v Leicester City - MISSED

Aguero placed the ball on the spot at the King Power Stadium after Dennis Praet was adjudged to have handled in the area. However, Schmeichel got the better of the Argentina striker, marking his fourth Premier League penalty save, one more than famous father Peter recorded while playing in the same competition.

Gabriel Jesus came off the bench to spare strike partner Sergio Aguero's blushes following his penalty miss as Manchester City earned a late 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Kasper Schmeichel had already frustrated the visitors on a number of occasions in Saturday's clash prior to keeping out Aguero's 62nd-minute spot-kick.

But just as Leicester looked to be heading for a third draw in a row, substitute Jesus - brought on for Aguero - clinically converted 10 minutes from time at the King Power Stadium.

A second win in a row for City in what has been a difficult period off the field ensures they have a seven-point gap over third-placed Leicester, who hit the post through Jamie Vardy early on in their best chance.

Sergio Aguero has been named the Premier League's Player of the Month for a record seventh time, while Jurgen Klopp takes home the managers' gong for on an unprecedented fifth occasion in a single season.

Manchester City striker Aguero was in lethal form throughout January, scoring six times and registering an assist from just three matches.

In doing so, Aguero became the Premier League's highest-scoring foreign player, with his hat-trick in the 6-1 hammering of Aston Villa taking him beyond Thierry Henry's record of 175.

That treble also propelled him above Alan Shearer's haul of 11 hat-tricks, as Aguero set a new record.

Aguero also scored a brace in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and got the only goal of the game as City beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Having previously been tied with Steven Gerrard and Harry Kane on six Player of the Month awards, Aguero is now out in front on his own – the 31-year-old beating out competition from Alisson, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Ayoze Perez and Jack Stephens.

Klopp oversaw five successive wins in January to continue Liverpool's ominous march towards a first top-flight crown in 30 years.

It is the fifth time this term he has won the award, setting a new record for wins in a single season, taking that honour from Pep Guardiola.

Klopp has now won the award eight times, a haul beaten by only Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes.

Steven Bergwijn scored a superb volley on his debut as Tottenham earned a 2-0 victory over Manchester City, who dominated possession but missed a penalty and had Oleksandr Zinchenko sent off.

Pep Guardiola's men were perhaps guilty of overplaying in front of goal across the course of a game that exploded into life when Hugo Lloris saved an Ilkay Gundogan spot-kick in a frenetic climax a tense first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The champions remained on top until Zinchenko received a second booking and his marching orders, leaving Spurs to capitalise on their man advantage almost immediately with Bergwijn's memorable strike after 63 minutes.

Son Heung-Min's seventh top-flight goal of the season left City with too much to do in the final 20 minutes and they suffered a first defeat in six league outings that all but extinguishes their already faint title hopes with Liverpool 22 points clear at the top of the table.

Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero missed early chances in the Spurs box and Raheem Sterling escaped with just a yellow card after a dangerous challenge that almost buckled Dele Alli's ankle.

Riyad Mahrez turned his back on a shooting chance when he mistakenly thought he had been flagged offside but moments later his threaded pass sent Aguero through for a shot against the foot of the post as Spurs came under fire.

The half ended in chaos, with a belated VAR review overturning referee Mike Dean's decision not to award Aguero a penalty following a clumsy challenge by Serge Aurier.

After Gundogan's spot-kick was saved by Lloris, there was an angry melee as Tottenham's players fumed over Sterling's attempt to win another penalty when he tumbled over the goalkeeper's arms, with Toby Alderweireld and Zinchenko booked for their contributions.

A mix-up between Lloris and Japhet Tanganga allowed Aguero to loop a shot towards goal that was cleared as far as Sterling and he squared to Gundogan, who blazed over the crossbar with the net gaping.

Zinchenko was shown a second yellow card for barging Harry Winks as the Spurs midfielder broke towards the half-way line and shortly after the hosts were ahead.

Lucas Moura chipped the ball to the edge of the box where Bergwijn controlled it with his chest and volleyed into the bottom-right corner of the net with exquisite technique.

Eight minutes later, Tanguy Ndombele carved an opening for Son, whose deflected shot from just inside the box beat Ederson at his near post to double Tottenham's lead and the closest City came to pulling one back was a Davinson Sanchez header against his own crossbar at the death.

 

What does it mean? Liverpool's title party plans come forward

With City trailing so far behind, Liverpool need just 18 more points to clinch the Premier League title and at the rate they are winning games that will not take long.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are up to fifth in the table and will be confident of closing the four-point gap to Chelsea above them after beating the champions.

Winks fares well in De Bruyne battle

Kevin De Bruyne tends to control games from his position in the City engine room but Harry Winks broke up the play and put Spurs on the front foot at key moments to help turn the game.

Rodrigo fades after promising start

Rodrigo showed glimpses of his silky passing abilities early on but by the second half was little more than a bystander as Spurs turned the screw.

What's next?

City are back at Etihad Stadium on Sunday when West Ham are the visitors, while Spurs travel to Aston Villa in the league after their midweek FA Cup replay against Southampton.

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