English Premiership

City not getting carried away

2014-05-04 11:00
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

Liverpool - Manuel Pellegrini has insisted Manchester City still have plenty of work to do to wrap up a second English title in three years, despite their hopes being in their own hands.

City moved top of the English Premiership table for the first time since early February with a 3-2 win at Everton on Saturday.

With Chelsea facing Norwich on Sunday and fellow title rivals Liverpool heading to Crystal Palace on Monday, it means that, barring a huge victory for the Reds at Selhurst Park, City will be top on Wednesday if they beat Aston Villa.

After that only another home game against West Ham at Eastlands on next weekend's final day of the league season is set to stand between City and the trophy.

Their chances looked over when they lost at Liverpool and drew at home with Sunderland but three consecutive wins and Chelsea's recent victory at Anfield gave City the initiative once again.

Saturday's trip to Goodison Park was seen as the key match in City's hopes but Pellegrini told his players immediately after the final whistle not to let it slip now.

"It was a testing moment but we haven't finished yet," said the City manager.

"We've just won one of the three games that we must win to win the title," Pellegrini added.

"It was a very difficult game because you see the history here for City, two wins in 10 years, Everton are in a good moment and they played well so it's a very important victory.

"I was talking with the players especially after we lost against Liverpool and I said that the title was not over and we must continue playing.

"I never try to think in a negative way," the Chilean explained. "We have to win two games more, a lot can happen and we will prepare for Aston Villa and at the end of the season we'll analyse how the season was.

"Three points is a good step towards trying to win the title."

After Ross Barkley gave Everton the lead with a powerful, looping shot, Sergio Aguero pulled City level before Edin Dzeko headed them in front before half-time.

Dzeko scored his second goal when he tapped in from Samir Nasri's cross but Romelu Lukaku finished from a Leighton Baines centre to give City an anxious final few minutes on Merseyside.

Argentina striker Aguero, who has had three spells out through injury this season, was forced off with what appeared to be a groin problem.

He will be assessed again on Sunday and Pellegrini confirmed that Yaya Toure, also withdrawn at Goodison, was only taken off as a precaution.

"We will know tomorrow (Sunday) after the doctor examines him (Aguero)," Pellegrini said.

"I don't know if it's his groin or hamstring, it's a muscle problem."

Although City are closing on the title, Barkley was the outstanding player on the pitch.

England coach Roy Hodgson was in the crowd watching and Everton manager Roberto Martinez was sure the midfielder could excel at the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil.

"If he's called up it's the right thing," Martinez said.

"He offers something unique and at the same time he's a young man, we have to look after him and support him and give him time to fulfill his potential.

"The character of Ross is ready to embrace anything that comes his way but if he's not in the World Cup we'll use the time to refresh him, regenerate him and get him ready for the next campaign."

Everton's hopes of Champions League football were ended with their defeat but they are now guaranteed fifth spot and a Europa League place.

Martinez added: "It is disappointing (failing to qualify for the Champions League) because that was a dream that we had at the beginning of the season and we gave everything we had to achieve it

"If we get fifth there's no room to feel disappointed about not getting into the Champions League," the Spaniard added.

"To get into Europe is a phenomenal step."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk

Fixtures
13 February 2016
Sunderland v Manchester United, Stadium of Light 14:45
Norwich City v West Ham United, Carrow Road 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 17:00
Bournemouth v Stoke City, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Newcastle United, Stamford Bridge 19:30
14 February 2016
Arsenal v Leicester City, Emirates Stadium 14:00
Aston Villa v Liverpool, Villa Park 16:05
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 18:15
27 February 2016
West Ham United v Sunderland, Boleyn Ground 14:45
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Norwich City, King Power Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.