Sergio Aguero has apologised to Manchester City’s supporters after his dismal penalty in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola’s side would have wrapped up the Premier League title with victory over the Blues in a rehearsal of this month’s Champions League final.
They would have been well on their way to sealing a third championship in four seasons had Aguero – who will leave City at the end of the season – added a swift second to Raheem Sterling’s breakthrough strike on the stroke of half-time.
Yet City’s record goalscorer got it all wrong.
His tame Panenka attempt from 12 yards was comfortably gathered by Edouard Mendy, with Chelsea subsequently roaring back to seal all three points through Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso.
City have now failed to score more penalties (four) than any other side in the Premier League this season, while they are the first side to miss at least four spot-kicks in consecutive top-flight seasons since Tottenham in 1993-94 and 1994-95.
Writing on Twitter, Aguero 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.”
Guardiola refused to be too critical, saying: “Always I say to the player in the penalties, take one decision. Panenka, right, left, short, whatever you want, but commit.
“He was committed. If he misses it, he misses it. Everyone is disappointed but the first disappointment is for him.”
Including his spot-kick, Aguero had two attempts on Saturday, while also creating two chances, albeit one of those came with his seemingly inadvertent assist for Sterling’s opener – the 32-year-old taking a heavy touch when presented with a gaping goal.
He registered 23 touches in total, the lowest of any City outfield player to start the match, but did complete all 11 of his passes before making way for Phil Foden in the 70th minute.