As December 2014 got underway, Sergio Aguero was in the form of his life; scoring goals for fun in a resurgent Manchester City side.
A double against Sunderland took his tally to eight goals in his last seven outings, including a famous Champions League hat-trick against Bayern Munich.
Everton were up next for Manuel Pellegrini's side who were looking to move within three points of Premier League leaders Chelsea, while Aguero himself was hoping to add to his 19 goals in all competitions.
However, with barely five minutes on the clock disaster struck as the Argentine forward fell to the floor, clutching his knee and in visible pain.
The injury would force him to leave the pitch in tears, leaving City fans fearing how long their chief goalscorer would be out for.
His teary exit showed the passion Aguero has for the game, a passion that made his six weeks on the sidelines a nightmare for a player desperate to be out on the pitch.
Having returned to the team in mid-January, Aguero had to wait until last week to end a five-game barren spell with two goals in the 4-1 victory over Stoke.
Now back to full fitness and back among the goals, Aguero has finally explained to the Manchester City official website why he was in such an emotional state leaving the pitch on that December evening.
"I just wanted to keep on playing and I couldn’t. I felt powerless," he said.
"The match had barely started and I just wanted to keep going and helping my team so realising I’d injured my knee and would probably face a spell on the side-lines really hit me.
“I felt something had happened straight away. I hadn’t a clue how bad it was but I knew something wasn’t right. At that time I felt strong and really happy with my game so it was frustrating to say the least.”
Within a week of Aguero falling victim of knee ligament damage, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic picked up injuries of their own, leaving Pellegrini without a striker for the festive period.
Initially Jose Angel Pozo was promoted to the first team before James Milner was given the chance to play as a makeshift forward.
Eventually David Silva provided the goals from a more advanced role than he's used to, and Aguero praised his teammates for the way they stepped up when required.
"We were very unfortunate to have so many injured strikers simultaneously. The boys handled it very well, though," he said.
"It’s not easy to play in someone else’s position, but that said, I thought they were quite effective and we initially continued our winning run."
City's form has since tailed off and they picked up just one league win in January, but they do now have a wealth of attacking options at their disposal.
Dzeko and Jovetic are both fully fit while the arrival of Wilfried Bony has added competition up front.
The addition of a fourth striker has been welcomed by Aguero, who thinks Bony will prove a useful acquisition, although he was keen to shake off comparisons between the ex-Swansea man and former Blue Alvaro Negredo.
Aguero said: "Now we are back to full strength and we have also added to our squad. I think Wilfried Bony is a valuable addition to bolster our ranks for the final months of the season.
"There have been suggestions Wilfried is a similar player to Alvaro Negredo but no two players are the same.
"Let’s hope his presence helps in strengthen the team and I look forward to playing alongside him along with Edin and Stevan.
With four fully fit strikers at his disposal, City boss Pellegrini will be keen to make up ground in the title race as soon as possible, and Aguero sees no reason why his team cannot retain their crown.
"Why not? We were worse off in past seasons we still won and I was always convinced we’d be champions," he sad.
"There is a long way to go and a lot of games to play so anything is possible. Right now, it’s anyone’s title and it’s not just two sides competing - there are many teams that are still in the hunt. Arsenal and United are back on their feet, Southampton are not far behind and Liverpool and the Spurs have all shown good form, too.
“I believe this will be one of the most highly contested Premier Leagues of recent years and we will be giving everything to retain our title.”
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