Pellegrini revels in City rout

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Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini reflected on a near-perfect day after his side thrashed Newcastle 5-0 to reinvigorate their title defence.

The emphatic win not only cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to five points, but provided the perfect confidence boost for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Barcelona.

And Pellegrini was just as pleased with the manner of the performance, which saw City rediscover the attacking swagger that made them such formidable opponents last season.

Pellegrini said: “Of course was a good day because we won our game but (it was) not only we won, (but) we returned to being a scoring team here at the Etihad and we repeated our last performance against Stoke.

“We were a solid team and an aggressive team from the beginning.”

City led from the second minute after a Sergio Aguero penalty. Further goals from Samir Nasri and the highly impressive Edin Dzeko put the result beyond doubt inside the first 21 minutes.

David Silva’s quickfire double early in the second half put the gloss on the victory.

Dzeko’s performance – which yielded his first goal since September – was timely, coming on the day new £25million striker Wilfried Bony made his debut off the bench.

Pellegrini said: “For Edin it is very important.

“Maybe one of the things that happened in January was that Edin was just coming back from a long injury and Sergio Aguero was also. Both of them, the way they had minutes, will help them return to their normal performance.

“Edin not only scored but worked very well the whole game.”

City came from behind to win the title in both 2102 and 2014 and the nature of the win has suggested they are capable of repeating the feat.

Pellegrini said: “The experience is always important but I think all the teams will drop points from now until the end of the season so we will see which team will drop least points.”

Attention will now turn to the glamour Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona, with the first leg taking place at the Etihad Staidum in midweek.

City could hardly be going into the game in better heart and Pellegrini hopes to maintain the momentum.

He said: “All the games are different but we are going to try from the beginning, as we did today, to be an aggressive team and to try and score goals because it is important.

“Maybe it is not a normal game because it is a game of 180 minutes, so you must try to score but you must also try not concede because an away goal is very important.

“But on Tuesday I am sure you will see our team trying to play in the same way we did today.”

But as good as City were, Newcastle were poor. The Magpies rarely threatened in a game in which they were completely outplayed, leaving manager John Carver to apologise to fans and hint at an inquest into the display.

Asked if he had a message for supporters, Carver said: “An apology, first of all.

“We all know we have a fantastic following, they were behind the team, but when you concede that early goal, it is disheartening. They kept staying behind us and kept signing.

“We weren’t great, we came up against a top side. I have seen better sides than us come here and get a hiding.

“My job now is, do I sulk and start talking behind people’s backs? Do the players start talking behind people’s backs? I hope not.

“We will have a discussion on Monday and air our differences, talk about today’s performance and then take that forward into the game against Aston Villa.”

Carver felt his side made City’s task too easy for them.

“Absolutely,” he said. “No matter what you plan during the week, when you concede a penalty within the first minute, more or less straight from the kick-off, then you are on a hiding to nothing.

“To concede a penalty in the manner we did is really annoying and frustrating.

“Then all of a sudden we concede another. Within the first 10 minutes of any game you should try and stay in the game and play in their half. We didn’t do that.”

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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