Soccer-Guardiola plays down Aguero's fluffed penalty


Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Chelsea - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 8, 2021 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola Pool via REUTERS/Martin Rickett

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola refused to criticise striker Sergio Aguero for his dreadful failed attempt at a chipped penalty in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea.

City had just taken a 1-0 lead when they were awarded a chance to make it 2-0 at the break after a penalty was awarded from Billy Gilmour's challenge on Gabriel Jesus in the box.

Aguero, City's all-time top scorer who is leaving the club at the end of this season, attempted a "Panenka" penalty designed to fool the goalkeeper with a chip straight down the middle.

But Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy did not commit to his dive and was able to simply stand up and catch the gentle shot.

Guardiola rejected the claim that the Argentine striker had been "selfish" with his choice and said he always told his penalty takers to commit to a choice on an approach to a kick.

“If he scores you would say he is a genius. I say to the players to take one decision. Panenka, right, left. Pick one," said the City boss.

“He is a sensible guy, we are not going to talk about what Sergio has done for all the period he has been here.

“He took the decision, no one expect(ed) it, but if he was convinced, do it. If he thinks that's best, the taker has responsibility," he said.

City would have clinched the title with a win but the visitors scored twice after the break.

Guardiola said it was wrong to argue the penalty had turned the game.

“Many things happen. We cannot deny 2-0 at halftime is very different. We suffered a little bit in the second half but when Ilkay Gundogan and Phil (Foden) came on we were better - but they scored a goal," he said.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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