English Premiership

Pellegrini hails Hart

2015-05-18 08:11

Swansea - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has praised Joe Hart following the English goalkeeper's fine performance at Swansea City.

Victory guaranteed deposed Premier League champions City a top-three finish and a place in the group stages of the Champions League, with England's fourth-placed side having the inconvenience of a qualifying round for Europe's elite club competition.

But things might have been different on Sunday when, with City having just reclaimed the lead to move 3-2 ahead, Swansea seemed set to equalise via a thumping header from Federico Fernandez only for Joe Hart to pull off a stupendous one-handed reflex save to tip the ball over his crossbar.

"It was incredible," said Swansea boss Garry Monk.

"Ninety-nine times out of 100 that's a goal but unluckily for us he had an answer to it. He is a world-class goalkeeper."

City manager Pellegrini added that 28-year-old England international Hart had advanced this season and was "starting to reach his peak."

"It was a beautiful save in an important moment," Pellegrini said.

"I think that Joe is the No 1 in England. He has improved a lot this season.

"Bringing in Willy Caballero has been good for him as competition," the Chilean added.

"I think he is starting to reach the peak of his career. It is difficult for a young goalkeeper to be so, so good.

"It is difficult to compare him with all the other goalkeepers. (Chelsea's Thibaut) Courtois is very good also. In this league we have three or four very good goalkeepers. (Manuel) Neuer at Bayern (Munich) is very important also.

"But Joe understands he must improve. Every day he works hard," Pellegrini said.


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