'We will break everything!' - Aguero return gives Guardiola hope of getting Man City firing again

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Sergio Aguero Pep Guardiola Raheem Sterling Manchester City GFX
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The Premier League side have reached the last 16 of the Champions League but are still searching for the goals to ignite a domestic title challenge

Pep Guardiola is adamant that Manchester City will start scoring freely again soon.

"It will come," the manager insisted after Wednesday night's 1-0 win over Olympiacos. "We would love to [score] more, but one day it will come and we will break everything!"

Goals have been City's biggest problem this season, particularly in the Premier League.

While the arrival of Ruben Dias has helped stem the defensive problems that hampered their domestic and European challenge last season, the City coach now has issues at the other end of the field.

City have scored just 10 times from their opening eight Premier League matches – at the same stage last season, they had 27 goals.

The 3-1 victory at Wolves in their opening fixture and the 5-2 defeat to Leicester a week later are the only times they have scored more than once in a game in the league.

Guardiola's side have been much more impressive in Europe, scoring 10 times in winning their opening four matches in the Champions League group stage to secure a place in the last-16 for an eight successive season.

However, against Olympiacos on Wednesday night, City had 21 attempts, with 10 on target, and could only manage a single goal, with Phil Foden emphatically smashing in the 36th-minute winner after a clever back-heel pass from Raheem Sterling.

It came just four days after City had 22 shots at Tottenham but still suffered a 2-0 defeat that leaves them 13th in the Premier League, eight points behind co-leaders Spurs and Liverpool.

So, why is Guardiola so confident that goals are around the corner for his team?

"We were much more aggressive," he stated in Greece. "It’s not easy to play against nine defenders but our pressing was so good."

There are some other positives.

The Greek double-winners were missing seven first-team players but their defensive selection remained relatively strong and Foden's goal was the first time Olympiacos had conceded at home all season.

Victory was built on City's territorial and possession dominance, with Olympiacos restricted to just two touches in their opponents' penalty area.

Qualification for the knockout stages also now allows Guardiola the opportunity to focus on the Premier League.

While he will still want to secure first place in the group and a top seeding in the draw for the Champions League last 16, Europe can be mostly put to the back of their minds until February.

Guardiola already had the luxury of leaving Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker out of the game in Greece to give them some rest after a hectic start to the season, and some welcome time off for two first-team regulars should see them fresh for Saturday's meeting with Burnley.

Sergio Aguero Phil Foden Manchester City GFX

That marks the start of a relatively kind run of fixtures in which City will hope to cut the gap to Tottenham and Liverpool.

Guardiola will not take Burnley lightly, of course, but the Clarets have a terrible record at the Etihad Stadium, defeated on their last six visits, and losing the last three 5-0.

Burnley are followed by home games against Fulham, West Brom and Newcastle, which are sandwiched by the Manchester derby at Old Trafford and a trip to Southampton.

It's the sort of schedule that City ruthlessly exploited during their two title-winning campaigns under Guardiola and they will need to do so again if they are to wrestle back their title from Liverpool.

Of course, if they are to have any hope of that, they need to start scoring more goals, so the sight of Sergio Aguero on the field for the final 12 minutes in Athens is another welcome boost.

It was the Argentine's first appearance in a month and he has only played 190 minutes in the last five months.

That's why Guardiola said he will carefully manage his comeback from a knee operation during the summer, so it could be a little while before Aguero fully recovers his usual sharpness.

City have undeniably missed the killer instinct of their all-time record goalscorer, and the goals that he virtually guarantees.

Aguero's return could just be the catalyst they need to ignite their Premier League title challenge.

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