Aguero and de Bruyne give Man City contentious win over Sheffield United

Tom Homewood
·Assistant Producer

Manchester City will start 2020 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after getting back to winning ways against Sheffield United at the Etihad.

Lys Mousset had the ball in the back of the net for the Blades, but it was ruled out by VAR after a marginal offside call on the Frenchman, before the striker blazed the best chance of the first half wide with just the keeper to beat.

Sergio Aguero gave Man City the lead in the 52nd minute with the first shot on target in the match despite claims from the Sheffield United that referee Chris Kavanagh impeded John Fleck in the build up.

READ MORE: Chris Wilder: The referee 'made a mistake' with City's opener

Kevin de Bruyne wrapped up all three points for City inside the final ten minutes of the match finishing off a wonderfully worked move between the Belgian and Riyad Mahrez.

Billy Sharpe struck the base of the post in injury time for visitors and without registering a shot on target Chris Wilder will feel hard done by with defeat.

The win was Pep Guardiola’s 100th in the Premier League, one that means City consolidate their position in third, a point behind Leicester and 14 behind league leaders Liverpool.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sheffield United at Etihad Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
De Bruyne fires past Dean Henderson to make it 2-0 (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Guardiola handed 18-year-old centre-back Eric Garcia his first start for the club as he partnered Fernandinho at the back, while Nicolas Otamendi dropped to the bench along with Benjamin Mendy, who was replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Claudio Bravo started in goal in place of the suspended Ederson as Chris Wilder made two changes with Lys Mousset and Muhamed Besic coming in for Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick.

After a quite start the the game Mousset opened the scoring for the visitors just before the half-hour mark after he was put through brilliantly by John Fleck and with just the keeper to beat calmly picked his spot.

VAR intervened once again over the Premier League festive period though and the goal was ruled out for another marginal offside call.

Mousset had a great chance to put Sheffield in front once more, but failed to take his opportunity this time.

With City on the attack, United won the ball back and pumped it long for the striker. He raced into the area, but his effort was straight into the side netting with just Bravo to beat.

Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock after the restart with the first shot on target in the match, despite protests from Wilder’s side who claimed referee Chris Kavanagh impeded Fleck before he found the back of the net.

The Argentine latched on to Kevin de Bruyne’s through ball and thundered it into the roof of the net from 10-yards out.

Aguero is now one strike behind Thierry Henry, who sits fifth in the Premier League list of top scorers.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mates as Sheffield United players argue with referee Chris Kavanagh (right) during the Premier League match at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
Aguero celebrates while Sheffield United protest (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

Riyad Mahrez came close to doubling the hosts advantage after twisting and turning to find a yard of space inside the area, but his effort was well blocked by John Egan who stood tall.

The Champions made it 2-0 82nd minute after Mahrez played in de Bruyne, who took one touch out of his feet and cut inside, before he buried it into the bottom left hand corner leaving Dean Henderson no chance.

Bravo could only stand and watch as United almost pulled a goal back in the first minute of injury time. Billy Sharpe’s header struck the base of the left post and rolled along the line.

City strengthen their grip on third place with three points at home, while Sheffield remain in eighth.

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