Sports

Sergio Aguero, Thwarted Predator: Reviewing Manchester City vs. Chelsea

We look back at a fractious match at the Etihad and the potential consequences of Sergio Aguero’s red card.
December 5, 2016, 3:05pm
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Of all the qualities which make Sergio Aguero perhaps the most lethal striker in the Premier League, his patience is one of the most important. Like an apex predator in Planet Earth II, he is permanently poised, coiled like a spring, stealthily positioned to exploit even the slightest lapse of concentration to savage his prey. This weekend, however, there was no such lapse, and he found himself feeding on insubstantial scraps. Just as so often happens in Planet Earth II, the predator was left frustrated, abandoned to the prospect of starvation because the giraffe, or the wildebeest, or the vole, or whatever animal best represents Chelsea, had cleverly escaped his crushing jaws and scuttled off into the distance, taunting him impudently along the way.

As anyone who has been watching Planet Earth II will know, there is nothing more annoying than when some dickhead gazelle, or whatever, takes flight in the face of a noble predator and thwarts his instinctive, deadly designs. So it was with Aguero himself who, much like the furtive snow leopard, or the prowling Amazonian jaguar, or the majestic lion, absolutely lost his shit when he realised he'd been bested by an inferior foe. The foe who had annoyed him most was, of course, David Luiz, a man who bears considerable resemblance to a shaggy and easily preyed upon bison. Unfortunately for Aguero, Luiz's defensive abilities have been much improved in recent times, as testified by his confident performance on Saturday and the fact that Chelsea have only conceded two goals in their last eight games in the Premier League.

Upon realising that he would be going hungry in front of goal for another week at least, Aguero's predatory patience was finally exhausted in the final minute of the match at the Etihad. In an uncharacteristic moment of untrammelled fury, he leapt into David Luiz with a flying scissor kick and was inevitably shown a straight red card. Chelsea may have escaped his clutches, but Aguero made sure they would not escape entirely unscathed. That said, he also did serious damage to himself in the process, and perhaps to Manchester City's momentum in the league.

Putting aside the fact that Fernandinho was also sent off in the ensuing melee, Aguero's red could seriously hamper City. Having already been sent off once this season, he now faces a four-game suspension, which will see him miss crucial matches against Leicester, Arsenal, Watford and Hull. Fourth in the league after their defeat to Chelsea, City need their main goalscorer more than ever at a crucial point in their pursuit of the title. In lashing out wildly at his elusive opponent, the apex predator has injured himself *assumes David Attenborough voice*. We are about to see whether the rest of the pride can do without him, or whether they will find themselves famished as a result.