Roberto Mancini has said Yaya Toure is “irreplaceable” after the Ivorian played a major part in City’s 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool.
With Yaya playing his last game for the Blues against Manchester United on Sunday before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations, Mancini paid tribute to his midfield powerhouse who scored one and made another in an impressive display.
“I have tried to find another Yaya in my squad, but there isn’t another Yaya,” smiled the City boss.
“He will play against United on Sunday and then he will join the Ivory Coast.
He will be a big loss and it will be difficult because he is such an important player for us and we have so many games
“January is a big month for us and I think if we can come out on the top of the Premier League, I think we will have a very good chance to win (the title).
“But without Yaya and Kolo for several weeks, it will be hard.”
Mancini praised his players’ disciplined performance after going two goals up – though he admitted that he was unhappy with Gareth Barry’s dismissal in the second half.
“I was nervous when Gareth was sent off and I didn’t agree with his sending off,” he said. “I also couldn’t understand why the Liverpool player who gave away the penalty wasn’t booked.
“I watched many games from the previous day and there were lots of tackles but not many bookings. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Gareth merited two bookings and now we have lost him for one game.
“But I was very happy with the way we played against Liverpool. We deserved to win, but we also deserved to win against Sunderland, where we played very well, too – sometimes football is crazy!”