Pep Guardiola confirmed that Sergio Aguero did not play in Manchester City’s FA Cup win over Birmingham due to being in self-isolation.
City had hoped to include their record goalscorer in their starting line-up for the first time since October in Sunday’s tie at the Etihad Stadium as he returns to fitness following knee trouble.
Plans had to be changed, however, when it was discovered the Argentinian has been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Guardiola was unsure how long the player would be absent for and if he would be available for Wednesday’s Premier League clash against Brighton, even if he returned a negative test.
The City boss said: “Unfortunately he was in contact, more than usual, with one person who is positive. That is why he must isolate for a few days.
“I don’t know (how long for) exactly because, like all of us, he has been tested six times in last 10-15 days.
“He is negative. Today he is negative too but the protocol says in some cases they must isolate. In others we are still in touch and playing football.
“Unfortunately he could not play today.”
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Guardiola glad to achieve objectives
Aguero’s presence was hardly required as City eased to a 3-0 victory over their Championship opponents with an early double from Bernardo Silva and a further strike from Phil Foden. All three goals came inside the first 33 minutes and effectively ended the game as a contest.
Guardiola said: “Yes the first objective was done – qualify for next round. We did it with a really good first half.
“We made nice goals. I am happy for Bernardo. He made two goals and could have scored more. The first half was really good.
“In the second half they changed the set-up. We struggled a little bit to find our spaces but we are in the next round.”
The victory came four days after City, the 2019 FA Cup winners, reached the Carabao Cup final for a fourth successive year.
Guardiola said: “If you follow the trajectory for our team, we don’t drop one competition. That is why we are in finals four times in a row in the Carabao Cup and why we won the FA Cup two seasons ago.”
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