Sport Soccer

Friday 20 July 2018

Pellegrini praise for slick City

Manuel Pellegrini's City side defeated Everton 2-0
Manuel Pellegrini's City side defeated Everton 2-0

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his team have learned from the mistakes of last season after maintaining their superb start to the new campaign.

City beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday to move clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League with three wins from as many games.

Pellegrini's men have scored eight goals and conceded none, playing with pace and fluidity in attack and strength in defence.

After last season's disappointing runners-up finish to Chelsea, City are looking formidable.

Pellegrini said: "This team, in the last three seasons, has been the team that always plays the best football but we made a lot of mistakes in games that seemed easy (last season).

"Normally we are a team that goes forward, plays attractive football, tries to score goals and doesn't change the style. Even in the worst moments of last season I continued thinking in the way we must play and we will continue.

"But if you want to be an offensive team and to score goals it is very important to know how how to defend, sometimes with 11 players, sometimes eight, sometimes five. The back line have played very well in the three games.

"All of them are in a high performance. There are a lot of things that all together make us a good team at this moment."

City were tested by the Toffees but eventually broke through with a goal from Aleksandar Kolarov on the hour. Substitute Samir Nasri made victory certain in the 88th minute.

Pellegrini downplayed the strong message to rivals that his side's performances might be sending out.

He said: "We are not clear about that. We are just clear about winning the next game. Now we have won we must think about Watford.

"What other the teams think about our team is not our problem."

Opposite number Roberto Martinez thought City's performance was excellent and was pleased with how Everton stood up to them for most of the game.

The Merseysiders had chances, and hit the bar through Romelu Lukaku, who also had a goal disallowed for offside, but were eventually ground down.

Martinez said: "In terms of effort and a proper face-to-face confrontation against, in my eyes, the best team in the league at this moment, we can get a lot of positives and have a real strong platform to work towards what is in front of us.

"Before the first goal I thought we had the best moments, carried a real threat and looked very dynamic but didn't have that normal composure around the 18-yard box."

Martinez refused to blame goalkeeper Tim Howard for the opening goal after he was beaten from a tight angle by Kolarov at his near post.

He said: "I don't think it would be fair for me to say he should have helped us in that situation. I am more disappointed how we allowed Man City to get into the final third."

Everton were watched by River Plate defender Ramiro Funes Mori and Martinez admitted a deal for the 24-year-old could be close.

He said: "We hope in the 24 hours we can clinch the deal."

Martinez added that left-back Brendan Galloway, who limped off with a knee injury late in the first half, will be assessed in the coming 24-48 hours.

Press Association

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