Pellegrini on the attack
Published 19/01/2014 | 08:17
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is delighted his work is bearing fruit as his team brought up their century of goals for the season.
City broke took their tally from 99 to a remarkable 103 as they beat Cardiff 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium to stay within a point of Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Pellegrini has made clear his love of attacking football since taking charge last summer and his free-scoring side are delivering impressively.
The Chilean said: "I think it is very important for the team.
"It is not easy to score 100 and 103 goals just a little bit past the middle of the season.
"It reflects how we think about this team must play and I think the players feel comfortable in what we are doing.
"We are always a creative team and we have chances every match to score a lot of goals.
"The first 45 minutes was one of the best 45 minutes we played this season. It is important to continue in the same way."
City led 2-1 at the interval.
They took the lead in the 14th minute when referee Neil Swarbrick - in a demonstration of the effectiveness of the Goal Decision System - indicated that Edin Dzeko's shot had crossed the line before Kevin McNaughton cleared.
Craig Noone scored a brilliant equaliser after a weaving run but Jesus Navas quickly responded.
Cardiff battled early in the second half but Yaya Toure and substitute Sergio Aguero made victory safe in the last 15 minutes, before Fraizer Campbell grabbed an injury-time consolation.
Pellegrini said: "I think we are in a very good moment, and the confidence of the whole team, not only 11 players, is very high at the moment.
"Of course if the season continues in this way in the last month there will be pressure for all the teams.
"I hope we will continue in this way. It will be a very close Premier League until the end."
Pellegrini was not overly concerned about the goals his side conceded.
He said: "It is better to be concentrating but this team is playing very often, a game every three days.
"Cardiff didn't have many chances to score goals. One in the last minute and one play they did in the first half.
"We missed five or six clear goals. It is better not to concede goals but it is not my first worry at this moment."
Cardiff's defeat left them bottom of the table but the competition is tight and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took plenty from their performance.
Solskjaer said: "We felt that with 15 minutes to go we had the crowd turning - not against them but they weren't sure of the three points.
"We made them make a few mistakes. It was a great response after the poor start we had.
"That start was disappointing, again. That mindset has got to change. We have got to come here and expect to play better than we did."
Cardiff's players complained after the award of the first goal, not about whether the ball had crossed the line but apparently because they felt David Silva had handled in the build-up.
Solskjaer said: "It is hard to say if it was a handball. If the referee makes a decision we can't feel sorry for ourselves. He makes the decision."
The Norwegian, appointed earlier this month, claims he was well aware of the battle he was likely to be facing to avoid relegation.
Solskjaer said: "I knew what I was up against when I came here.
"I didn't come here and think everything was going to be all-singing and all-dancing.
"It is a tough league but it is five points up to number 10, so still as tight as it has been.
"We have just got to make sure we keep performing like we did today."
Cardiff's next league game is against Solskjaer's old club, Manchester United, at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer said: "Every single one is a game you can take something from, as that might be the little point that can take you over the line towards the end.
"We will come back to Manchester in 10 days' time and give it a go."