Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan has praised the talents and "perfect" timing of star striker Sergio Agüero, as the pair proved the deadly duo in the 4-1 drubbing of Burnley in the third round of The FA Cup.
Timing was just perfect
The festive fixture pile-up had proven a problem for all sides down the English pyramid but no more so than City, with Pep Guardiola's side turning on the cylinders in all four competitions thus far which has taken it's tole.
Guardiola looked to make some changes ahead of Tuesday's Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Bristol City, and The Citizens were made to work by Sean Dyche's side to reach the fourth round with Ashley Barnes giving the visitors the lead.
Gündoğan and Agüero then turned on the magic in the second period to turn the tie on it's head as they combined for two quick-fire goals from the Argentine, that proved the catalyst as goals from Leroy Sané and Bernardo Silva followed.
Agüero's performance shined through on a rare start for The Citizens this season with his movement for the two goals, and Gündoğan held particular praise for the 29-year-old's "perfect" timing.
"The timing was just perfect," Gündoğan said post-match. "Sergio passed the ball to me and I just had to save it."
"I was waiting for the run and Sergio was just at the right time in the right spot," the German stated. "I was quite sure this ball was going through."
"Luckily both actions were a goal and 2-1 was very important at that point," the 27-year-old proclaimed. "After that, we had all our confidence back, started to keep the ball and play very well."
"We scored two more goals," Gündoğan added. "And we are very happy with the result."
Leave them be
Many will have expected City to muscle past the Clarets but City's first goal was shrouded in some controversy, as Gündoğan's quick free-kick caught out the defending Burnley as Agüero acted quickest to slot past Nick Pope.
The letter of the law was upheld by referee Graham Scott but the disapproval of the decision from the Burnley players and managers were evident, Guardiola showed his disapproval for Burnley's badgering of the officials and he shared his thoughts on the incident post-match.
"I apologise," he said in his post-match press conference. "I didn't want to go out of control. I said leave the referees please."
"I have a lot of respect for Sean Dyche and the way they play," the Catalan coach proclaimed. "Because, of course it's completely different, but they do it perfectly and that's why football is tough."
"But I think all the managers around the world, especially here, forget to make their job," Guardiola concluded. "If they were offended I'm so sorry, because I don't want to do that."