A very difficult task awaits Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday when they travel to the Camp Nou as they attempt to overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to Barcelona. City are not in good form heading into the game after a number of indifferent performances which culminated in defeat to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup last weekend.
One glimmer of hope for City comes in the form of Sergio Aguero. The Argentine striker is back fit again after a month on the injury list, and it comes at a perfect time for City ahead of the game in Barcelona. In order for City to turn this tie around, they will need goals more than anything else — and who better for that job than Aguero?
Not conceding goals will also be very important, of course. Although keeping a clean sheet against the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Cesc Fabregas and Xavi will obviously be very difficult, it is by no means impossible — not at all. And with that kind of talent in the Barcelona team, it just shows you how important goals will be for City. They could possibly need quite a few.
In Joe Hart, City have a goalkeeper who can produce a masterclass on any given day. He has done it before, time and time again. Barcelona have also been in indifferent form themselves since their win at the Etihad Stadium. And so, who says Barcelona can’t have another indifferent performance against City? Or that Hart wont have another performance to remember? A clean sheet can come in many different forms or a combination of them. Luck is another factor. Sometimes the good luck is just on your side; it’s your lucky day.
Without goals, though, a clean sheet will get City nowhere. Goals in a game like this are like gold dust, and that is why Aguero is so critical for City. He is the one player who, no matter how the team is playing, can score a goal from nothing. He can make it and score it, all by himself. If City can manage to take the lead with the first goal, it will only then serve to create pressure on the Barcelona team. After all, they’re at home with a 2-0 advantage and expected to go through from this scenario.
City won’t have to deal with that pressure. Some people are counting them out already before they’ve even got off the plane, but goals change games; that’s the old adage. Goals, for City, would certainly change this game and this tie. And the man for City to go to for goals is undoubtedly Aguero.