SERGIO AGUERO blew the chance to be a title hero for the second time with a crazy Panenka miss and said: “I’m sorry.”
Sergio Aguero has apologised after his penalty howler cost Man City the chance to clinch the Premier League titleCredit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail
And the striker said: “I would like to apologise to my team-mates, staff and supporters for missing the penalty.
“It was a bad decision and I take full responsibility.”
Aguero could have put City two up before half-time and on course for the victory they needed to win the Premier League crown.
But unlike back in 2012 with his last-gasp winner against QPR, the striker fluffed his lines completely with a shocker of a spot-kick.
Boss Pep Guardiola said: “He is selfish because he missed it. If he scored a goal you would say how much of a genius he is. That’s the reality.
“So always I say to the players in the penalties take one decision: Panenka, right, left, short, whatever you want. But commit. He was committed – if he missed it, he missed it.
“Everyone is disappointed but the first disappointment is him.”
The calamitous effort, which keeper Edouard Mendy caught with one hand, spared Chelsea.
Nine years ago, almost to the day, Aguero fired the later winner to crown City Premier League champions for the first timeCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Aguero helped Man City get their hands on their first-ever Premier League crown in 2011-12Credit: Getty
They then hit back with two second-half goals to snatch victory – and leave City still short of winning Guardiola’s third title in four years.
Aguero said: “I cannot help but apologise to my team-mates, the coaching staff and the fans for today’s penalty.
“It was a bad decision and I take responsibility.”
However, City could win the title today if neighbours Manchester United lose at Aston Villa.
Guardiola was fuming at ref Anthony Taylor’s failure to award an 86th-minute penalty when Kurt Zouma sent Raheem Sterling tumbling.
Chelsea breathed a sigh of relief despite replays confirming clear contact, and Thomas Tuchel’s side – who beat City in the FA Cup semi-final – doubled the pain by snatching the winner in stoppage time through Marcos Alonso.
Guardiola added: “It’s a penalty. That’s all.”
Guardiola and Sterling have both voiced their disbelief at not being awarded a second penalty for what looked like a foul on Raheem Sterling by Kurt ZoumaCredit: PA
Sterling said: “I could not get a shot off because his knee is in the back of my hamstring.
“I don’t know how it is not a penalty. I do not know how it has not been reviewed properly.
“I knew it was a penalty. I thought VAR was here to help but it was not meant to be.
“He said it has been checked and it was not a penalty but it was a sure penalty.
“It is a difficult result to take especially when we had chances to finish the game off. We did not finish them off and we got punished.”
Guardiola was livid after Man City were denied a second penalty late on at the EtihadCredit: Rex
SunSport’s ref expert Mark Halsey added: “It was a clear penalty for Manchester City.
“I can’t understand why Anthony Taylor has not given a spot-kick because Kurt Zouma has caught the back of Raheem Sterling’s leg.
“Zouma had no chance of playing the ball, he got too close to Sterling, made contact and Taylor should have pointed to the spot.
“VAR official Stuart Attwell should have recommended Taylor review the monitor.
“Taylor is one of our two English referees going to Euro 2020 and an official of his calibre should be spotting that offence in real time.”
Chelsea boss Tuchel admitted his side got the luck – but insisted they fully deserved the win against opponents they face again in three weeks in the Champions League final.
Tuchel said: “What a performance in the second half. In the last five minutes of the first half we almost gave it away – they score a penalty, it’s over before it starts.
“I’m impressed by the reaction.
“You need a bit of luck and decisions from the referee, but big congratulations to the team for the second half.
“It was a physical battle but we never stepped back and never gave up.”
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