A dog named after City striker Sergio Aguero fought off a pair of dog thieves after they viciously attacked his owner.
Deborah Carter, 53, was punched in the face by two men as she walked Sergio the Shar Pei in Droylsden.
Deborah was walking down an alleyway with the one-year-old pooch, when one of the thugs said: “We’ll have him”, before hitting her.
But both men fled when brave Sergio turned on her attackers.
The hero dog was bought for Deborah as a puppy by her husband last year to celebrate her surviving breast cancer and keep her company while she recovered.
Named after her favourite player Argentinian striker Aguero, he has refused to leave her side since the attack.
Deborah has been left with facial injuries including a split upper and lower lip and black eye in the attack.
The mum of four grown-up sons told the Manchester Evening News: “I was more worried about them taking him than anything, they could have hurt him."
She added: “Since it’s happened he won’t let me out of his sight, he follows me upstairs and is by my side all the time. I’ve since heard of other people in the area that they have had people trying to steal their dogs too.”
Greater Manchester Police said they are investigating the incident