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Nasri: Feeling the 'love' lifts my game

Samir Nasri has revealed he needs to feel the love if Manchester City are to see the best of him.

The 24-year-old has struggled to fulfil his potential since a £24million summer move from Arsenal.

Any doubts over his ability were swept away on Wednesday, as Nasri produced a man-of-the-match display against Chelsea, including the match-winner five minutes from time that ensured City will head to Stoke tomorrow knowing victory will take them two points clear of title rivals Manchester United.

City manager Roberto Mancini is not noted for his compassion.

However, Nasri admitted he responds to an arm around the shoulder.

"I am someone who works with love," he said. "I like to have a dad with me, then I can give everything.

"That is what I am starting to feel here, that everyone is giving me the confidence -- the owners and the manager."

Even on Wednesday, Mancini was grudging in his praise, claiming that Nasri needed to do more to prove he was the equal of such luminaries as brilliant Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

"I don't know about that," said the former Marseille man. "At the moment they are on top, and I am 24.

"I can't say I will be like Iniesta -- it would be silly to say that. But I can do my own thing and if I have confidence I can get better."

Love has been in pretty short supply between Mancini and Carlos Tevez over the past few months.

The controversial Argentina star has still not been fully forgiven by some supporters for storming out of the club after the furious row that erupted between manager and star player in Munich.

Yet there has always been a suspicion that Tevez could end up being one of the pivotal figures in this season's title race.

It still seems the striker needs to do some work on his fitness.

However, given 24 minutes on his return to make an impact as City trailed and threatened to fall four points adrift, Tevez answered the call by setting up Nasri for the winner.

"We already knew what Carlos could bring," said Nasri.

"Since he came back to training he has shown great spirit and focus. He is a great player, one of the best, and when he is 100pc, he is really hard to stop."