Aleksandar Kolarov admits that he had to gently persuade Mario Balotelli to step aside for the free kick that began the rout of Sunderland
Kolarov's powers of persuasion proved vital as the Blues powered their way to victory on the back of his early strike.
The left back deservedly claimed the man of the match award for his goalscoring performance in the 3-0 win, and he revealed what was said in the conversation between himself and Mario before he scored the fourth minute opener.
“I knew where I wanted to put it… I told Mario that if he shoots then it would be more difficult for him to score because of the position, so I said ‘maybe if I can take it, I will score’ and I scored – it was a normal conversation,” said Kolarov.
It was important for us to win this game, we knew that Sunderland are a very good team but we deserved to win
“We can score more goals but it was most important to win this game.”
Joleon Lescott was recalled to the line-up for Sunderland’s visit and claimed that he felt that the coming international break was a hindrance with City building up momentum.
“The performances haven’t been consistent but the results have and we’re looking strong now and we’re obviously disappointed to go into the international break after that performance but I’m sure we’ll come back ready to go,” said.
“Obviously we’ve been disappointed with how we defended this season but we dug in today, we were resilient and fully deserved that clean sheet.
“It started from the front today – Carlos came back into the team and he pressed which helped us to get higher up the pitch.”