Pep Guardiola left Sergio Aguero out of his starting XI, and nobody was sure if it was genius or stupidity

Barcelona and Manchester City’s pairing in the Champions League group stage is one of the more intriguing stories in the world of football this season, with Barca legend Pep Guardiola returning to his old home as City boss.

And while the Catalan side are arguably the greatest side in world football at present, City have their own stellar cast: Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero are a frightening proposition for any side.

And so to the line-ups. De Bruyne – check. Sterling – check. Aguero… Sergio? Oh.

The man who’s scored six Champions League goals already this season was left on the bench.

Furthermore, he couldn’t be seen emerging with his fellow substitutes either. Very strange…

Pep’s certainly a brave man. We’re not sure City fans will have enjoyed this particular surprise, however.

What exactly is going on?

After much speculation, Pep confirmed that it was purely tactics, which leaves more questions than answers…

Although maybe he’s onto something…

Let’s see how this one pans out.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Rob Heffernan among 11-person Irish team for World Athletics Championships

Heroes welcome for Ireland’s returning athletes

Rory McIlroy confident he has turned a corner

Waterford will not rush into Tadhg de Burca appeal: McGrath


Today's Stories

Intriguing edge to latest episode of Galway-Tipperary trilogy

Extras set Sky coverage apart, but BBC needs to jump forward a few decades

Lukaku: Mourinho vision to ‘rebuild’ sold Man United to me

Intriguing edge to latest episode of Galway-Tipperary trilogy

Lifestyle

Three great routes for summer scrambling fans

Read the terms when it comes to car finance

Back to Ballybeg with the Mundy sisters

Wife, mother, and maker of fine furniture

More From The Irish Examiner