MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Sergio Aguero returned from his latest injury to score a poacher’s goal in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Marseille in the Champions League, a result which ended the French club’s hopes of a third-place finish and Europa League qualification.
Making just his fifth appearance of an injury-hit season, Aguero scored 11 minutes after coming off the bench when he poked in a close-range finish in the 77th after Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda only parried out a header from a corner.
That added to a clinical strike by Ferran Torres in the 48th and Raheem Sterling added a third in 90th as City — already qualified as the winner of Group C — finished on 16 points from five wins and a draw. That’s the most points City has earned in a group-stage campaign.
Marseille started the night in last place and needed to better the result of Olympiakos, which hosted Porto, to beat the Greek team to third spot and keep alive its European campaign.
Porto won 2-0, but Olympiakos finished ahead of Marseille courtesy of a superior head-to-head record.
Aguero showed the kind of instinctive finishing City has been missing at times this season, especially in the Premier League where Pep Guardiola’s team has made a slower-than-expected start.
The Argentina international has been bothered by knee injuries and “niggles” — as Guardiola has called it — with the City manager being careful not to rush back his best striker.
Guardiola rotated his squad ahead of City’s derby match against Manchester United on Saturday.
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