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I believed we would score says Pellegrini



Manuel Pellegrini paid tribute to his team’s all-round display following the final whistle at Villa Park.

Two late goals from Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero sealed all three points for the Champions against Aston Villa, but it took 82 minutes for the deadlock to be broken.

While the manager admitted it is natural to be a little worried with ten minutes to go, he declared that he maintained the belief in his players to finish off one of their chances.

Pellegrini revealed: “I was worried it wasn’t our day because we had so many chances to score. We played so well, defending , attacking, and in possession but of course when we have just 12 minutes to finish the game you are a little bit worried.

“I trusted we would score with one of those chances because we have the important players to do it and finally Yaya scored the first goal and Kun added the second.”

The Chilean was especially pleased with the manner of the win, as City dominated possession and kept a treasured clean sheet.

Pellegrini had called on his players ahead of the game to concentrate at the back and was delighted to see his team limit the Villans to so few chances.

“I think it is an important game not only because we won, secondly we didn’t concede but the way we played is for me the most important thing,” said the boss.

“We had 70% possession of the ball playing away, we had eight or nine chances to score and Aston Villa just had one counter attack which Joe Hart saved after Kun had the shot which hit the post. 

When we press that way it is very difficult for us to concede.”

...Manuel Pellegrini...


Fernandinho was replaced by Frank Lampard after 56 minutes after suffering a hamstring injury, and Manuel revealed the extent of the problem will be assessed tomorrow.

With the game still goalless, the Chilean modified his tactics with another change to introduce Fernando for Dzeko, allowing Lampard and Toure room to roam.  

Questioned about the changes, he explained: “We played 65 minutes with two strikers trying to score, we had chances but we didn’t do it so we needed to make a tactical change. When Fernandinho was injured I put in Frank Lampard because he also has a lot of goals.

“It was impossible to start with Fernando because he was just coming back from a long injury, but when he was ready we changed Edin Dzeko so he and Yaya can move up. They both have a lot of goals so it’s a different way to attack, but we continued to press and trying to score.”

He added: “The first 65 minutes before Lampard went in we had so many chances that we were unlucky we didn’t score.”

Late winners are always lauded as the hallmark of Champions, but Pellegrini was quick to point out that every single point is vital as City chase down Chelsea at the Premier League’s summit.

“I always say to the players that in May you will win or lose the Premier League by just one point and every point you drop along the way makes it difficult for us to win it,” he said.

“At the moment Chelsea are in a very good moment, they have two more points than us so it is very important to try and recover those points. The only way to do it is to win every game.” 

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