Today (December 15 2021) Sergio Agüero has announced his retirement. The man is a true footballing legend (I don’t use that word lightly!) and deserves to be acclaimed for his incredible achievements and career. He has brought immense joy to millions throughout his career. As a tribute I am posting here a free to read feature on Sergio’s Manchester City debut on August 15 2011. Enjoy this flashback to a time before he became renowned in England for his major contribution to the Premier League!
Sergio Agüero’s Debut
Sergio Agüero joined Manchester City from Atletico Madrid for a fee reported to be around £35 to £38m depending on which sources were to be believed. During 2010-11 the player had netted 20 league goals for the Spanish side. City boss Roberto Mancini commented at the time of the transfer: “Agüero can play any position – he can be the main striker, he can play behind the striker, he can play left or right. He is not tall but he is quick and strong and he can score a lot of goals. Now he can play behind Dzeko, Carlos or Mario.”
The Premier League campaign opened at the Etihad Stadium – the City Of Manchester Stadium had been renamed during the close season – with the visit of newly promoted Swansea City. This was to be Swansea’s first season in the Premier league.
New signings Stefan Savić and Sergio Agüero made their City debuts as substitutes that day while another summer arrival, Gael Clichy, started the match. Clichy had made his first appearance at Wembley against Manchester United in the Charity/Community Shield the previous week.
The match opened in a worrying manner for City. The team wore their new all-blue kit which had caused some fans to criticise the break with tradition (as it often does when City drop the white shorts – maybe I’ll write an article on City’s use of blue and white one day, comparing the successes in seasons with blue shorts to ones with white?) and the loss of white shorts, however it was not the kit that brought the worries in the opening period it was the pressure exerted by Swansea. They came looking to make their mark following promotion and they did all they could to play football in a positive manner.
Swansea pressured the Blues throughout the opening thirty minutes. Mancini’s side clearly had the quality but the visitors seemed the more determined. However, the Blues had been soaking up the pressure and taking stock of what Swansea had to offer. Whereas earlier City sides may have become anxious during the period of pressure, the new Blues were more than equipped to deal with a determined opposition.
The game remained goalless until the 57th minute when David Silva dodged past Leon Britton before progressing from City’s half and well into Swansea’s. He passed to Adam Johnson, who raced forward, cut inside and then tried to curl a shot past the Swansea ‘keeper. The shot was saved but the ball dropped in front of Dzeko who, from six yards out, sent the ball home.
A minute or so later Sergio Agüero came on for Nigel De Jong and within nine minutes of his arrival the Argentinian made it 2-0 with a simple tap-in. Three minutes later he played his part in the third goal.
Agüero lifted the ball over the advancing Swansea ‘keeper and then managed to hook it back to a waiting Silva on the penalty spot who sent his own shot into the net.
By this time Mancini’s side were in total control of the match, although Swansea were still playing decent football themselves and certainly did not adopt negative tactics as many other sides may have done.
Shortly before the end Agüero made it 4-0 with an absolutely brilliant swerving 30 yard shot. Afterwards Mancini was delighted with his new signing: “I’m not surprised by what I saw tonight. Agüero has scored a lot of goals in Spain and Argentina – he’s a fantastic striker.”
Two debut day goals – significantly he was only on the pitch for around 31 minutes – made Agüero a hero from the start and caused the wider football world to look at City’s new signing as a hugely positive arrival to the Premier League.
Highlights of the game can be viewed here: