Yet this was also a night when Agüero missed the opportunity to sugarcoat a slightly dishevelled performance with the goal that would have established him as Manchester City’s joint all-time record scorer.
This one was saved by Andriy Pyatov and City will just be glad that Shakhtar Donetsk, the better side in the opening half, ran out of puff after that point, with an assortment of visiting players needing treatment for cramp.
Instead, the game was settled by the late goal from Raheem Sterling, a substitute, to add to the latest piece of brilliance in Kevin De Bruyne’s portfolio.
The game swing in City’s favour three minutes after the restart and here was another demonstration of De Bruyne’s brilliance, even on a night when the Belgian did not always exert his usual influence.
Marlos was the Donetsk player who put his team in trouble with a loose pass.