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'It's his decision' - Guardiola refuses to criticise Aguero for Panenka miss

3:37 PM EDT 5/8/21
Pep Guardiola Man City 2020-21
The Argentine had the chance to double Manchester City's lead but saw his Panenka penalty saved

Pep Guardiola refused to criticise Sergio Aguero for his failed penalty in Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea.

City were leading 1-0 when they were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Aguero stepped up to face Edouard Mendy from 12 yards and was left red faced as his Panenka was read by the Chelsea goalkeeper who caught it one handed, with the Blues turning the match in their favour in the second half to delay City winning the title.

What has been said?

There is no middle ground with Panenkas, it is either glory or abject failure.

Guardiola was stony-faced when the effort was saved, but said his only instructions are for the takers to fully commit.

“It is his decision,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “The taker has to take decisions. 

“I say to him, take one decision and take it full commitment. He decided to do it this way.”

‘It is a penalty’

With the game well poised at 1-1 in the 88th minute, Raheem Sterling broke forward and tumbled in the box under challenge from Kurt Zouma.

Referee Anthony Taylor waved away the appeals, despite their appearing to be contact, and Guardiola was in no doubt that his side should have been awarded a second spot kick.

“It is a penalty,” he said. “That is all. It has happened. So next time we try to score our penalty.

“It is the opinion of the fourth official and Anthony, they know it. Nothing else I can say.

“Sometimes we make mistakes. Maybe they believe it is not a mistake. It has been seen on TV that it is a penalty.”

Lessons to learn

City face Chelsea again in the final of the Champions League on May 29.

Thomas Tuchel’s Blues enjoyed major success down City’s left-hand side, with their late winning goal coming from a cross from that side of the pitch, and Guardiola will look to find solutions.

“21 days we are going to face them again in the final of the Champions League,” Guardiola said. “We will learn from that and try and win the three points we need to be [Premier League] champions.”

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