Saturday 27 December 2014

Manuel Pellegrini eyes historic quadruple after Capital One Cup win over Sunderland

Mark Ogden

Published 03/03/2014 | 09:45

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrates with the Capital One Cup after the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrates with the Capital One Cup after the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley

Manuel Pellegrini claimed Manchester City’s Capital One Cup triumph can provide the platform for an unprecedented quadruple after insisting the club remain in contention for four trophies this season.

Second-half goals from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas secured City’s first league cup since 1976 after Fabio Borini had given Sunderland a first-half lead.

To keep their quadruple hopes alive, City must overcome FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic in next Sunday’s quarter-final before preparing for the more daunting task of overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Barcelona in the Nou Camp in the Champions League round of 16 three days later.

But with one trophy now on its way to City’s cabinet, Pellegrini believes the success can propel his team towards even greater achievements.

“This will give us a lot of confidence now,” Pellegrini said. “If you try to win a title and don’t do it, your mind does not work the same way, so to win the first is very important.

“We have won this trophy and we are now the only club with a chance to win all the competitions.

“For a club like Manchester City, to fail is not acceptable. The team failed last year, but we did not fail today.

“I believe we are going to have a great season when the season ends in May.

"We won one trophy today, but nobody can think that is enough.

“We can improve, but with important players, you can never be satisfied with one trophy and if we beat Wigan next week, we will be back at Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final.

“We are going to try. It is not easy, we have all due respect for Wigan after what happened last season in the FA Cup Final, but we are going to try to do it of course.”

Pellegrini’s bullish appraisal of City’s prospects for the remainder of the season was echoed by Nasri, the French midfielder, who claimed his first Wembley winners’ medal after losing in previous cup finals with City and Arsenal.

Nasri, who received the Alan Hardaker man of the match trophy at the end of the game, said, “I am very happy and I hope that this cup can bring some others.

“I have lost my two finals I have played here so it was really important to win.

“We want to win everything. We are going to compete for the league, for the FA Cup and we are going to try to make something in the Champions League.

“It is going to be difficult, but like I said, I hope this cup is going to bring confidence to the team and we will fight until the end.”

Despite taking an early lead, Sunderland were unable to hold on to claim the club’s first major trophy since defeating Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup Final.

But while manager Gus Poyet praised the performance of his players, the Uruguayan criticised referee Martin Atkinson for failing to penalise City for a foul on midfielder Sebastien Larsson in the build-up to Toure’s equaliser.

“If you go home and see it, it is a foul,” Poyet said. “We are 1-0 up, in a final against Manchester City, but it is still a foul.

“I am not going to be a hypocrite like most and blame the referee, but it was a very easy foul to give.

“If you ask the referee, maybe he will tell you, but he will have an excuse. They always have an excuse.

“Larsson is still limping and hurt because of the studs in his foot.

“I wanted to see my team on the pitch and I saw my team, so I am proud of them.

“There were no mistakes or presents to the opposition, no sendings off and we tried our best for 45 minutes.

“But Yaya Toure then scores from 25 yards into the top corner. Maybe I should have played two keepers to have a chance.

“There is not much we can do with Yaya Toure unless we shoot him!

“We couldn’t do better, we tried our best, but the quality decided the game because they were two wonder finishes by Toure and Nasri.

“For us to win, I am a believer that City needed to be average on the day.

"The special players like Nasri and Yaya are going to give you a problem if they have a good day.

“I am sad to lose, I hate it, but I am proud of my team.”

For Pellegrini, City’s victory confirmed his first major trophy as a coach in Europe, ten years after moving from South America to Villarreal.

But the Chilean played down the personal element of his achievement.

“I didn’t feel I needed to win a trophy,” Pellegrini said. “I have had 10 years in Europe, but I had five very happy years at Villarreal and then more good times at Malaga.

“I just had one year at Real Madrid and finished with the most points Madrid has ever had, but I knew that we could win trophies here and this is the first.”

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