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Pellegrini delighted with ninth consecutive victory

manuel

manuel

Manuel Pellegrini spoke of his delight at a comfortable away win in the absence of a traditional strike force.

Shorn of Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko, City shrugged off rain and snow to put three goals past West Brom and collect all three Boxing Day points.

Goals from Fernando, Yaya Toure and David Silva were enough for the Champions, and the manager explained that preparation is paying off.  

Pellegrini revealed: “We changed the style of play and we are doing well. We are preparing to give the midfielders time to arrive at the edge of the box, we are creating more space and we are using the space in the right moment.

“I was happy because I said last week it is very important to play in another style as we don’t have strikers.”

The festive calendar ensures games arrive thick and fast over the next few days, and Pellegrini was pleased to see his side start off a busy week on a winning note.

Burnley and Sunderland come to the Etihad in the next week before an FA Cup clash on the first weekend of January, and snowy conditions made the job tougher at the Hawthorns, particularly after the half time break.

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“It was a very important game because it is not easy to play on Boxing Day,” said the boss. “We have to play three games in just a week so it was very important to start this week by winning this game away against a difficult team.

“It was very difficult to play because there was a lot of snow and also because if you are winning 3-0 it is difficult to continue with high pace especially when you have to play 48 hours after this game. We tried to keep the clean sheet but unfortunately they scored from a set piece.

“It is very important to continue in the way we are playing because we have won the last nine games including the Champions League.”

Toure and Silva both came off in the second half, but the manager reassured City fans that the duo were withdrawn to give them extra rest before the clash with the Clarets on Sunday.

He added: “Both are fit and there is no problem. We have to play again in 48 hours so it was important for them to rest, especially David because he is just returning from injury.”

A Chelsea win earlier in the day means the gap at the top of the table remains at three points, but Manuel insisted he is focused solely on City’s results.

The Chilean also maintains it is far from a two horse race for the title, and he expects other teams to stake a claim in the New Year.

He declared: “We are trying to keep winning and not thinking about Chelsea. Chelsea are playing very well also but we have 20 more games to see who will play better in the second half of the season.

“I repeat that I don’t think that this title race is just about two teams."

...Manuel Pellegrini...

 

"Other teams like United will also be involved for the Premier League title, and Liverpool and Tottenham also won today.”

James Milner worked tirelessly up front in an unaccustomed role for the Champions, and he told the press after the game that the conditions made it tricky to play City’s usual attractive, attacking style.

However the England international believes that the performance shows the quality available throughout the squad.

Said Milner: “We made a bit more difficult in the end. We started very well, pressed hard and kept winning the ball back. We're disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet but the conditions weren't ideal for the football we like to play.

"It shows our strength of depth to win with so many missing. Chelsea go about their business, we just take of ours and make sure we get the points which we did today."

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