Boss Roberto Mancini was a happy man after his injury-ravaged side opened his managerial reign with a win.
The two-goal victory over Stoke City also brought a first Premier League home clean sheet since August and with it a sense of relief for the manager who has been drilling his defenders since he began work at the beginning of the week.
If some of the papers are to be believed the Italian is supposed to be at loggerheads with some players including goalkeeper Shay Given but the two shared a warm hug at the end of the game and Mancini then sang the Irishman’s praises.
“Shay Given made some great saves today and I rate him so highly,” declared the manager, still wearing the blue and white scarf he donned before kick-off.
I think without doubt he is one of the best five goalkeepers in the world. I was pleased with the win it was the perfect start for me but I was also pleased with the defence too and that means the whole of the team
“Shay gives everyone around him a sense of confidence and he can be pleased with his afternoon.
“We have worked hard these last few days and this was the reward for the team and the supporters.
“There were people playing in positions that are perhaps not their normal ones but everyone did well including Robinho who has not had a lot of football after his injury.
“I thought we were better in the first half than the second when we got a little tired. But now we must prepare properly for Wolves.”
That means a late training session tomorrow evening at Carrington before travelling down to the Midlands.
Mancini admits he will pack some great memories of his first game into the kit bag with him even if he is still without Roque Santa Cruz and Nedum Onuoha (calf strains), Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle), Wayne Bridge and Joleon Lescott (knee operations), and Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle)
“I must thank the fans for the welcome they gave me and the way they backed the side throughout the match,” he declared.
“They are a very important part of what we are trying to do and I was delighted that they got behind us so well and with such enthusiasm.”