English Premiership

Pellegrini hails 'killer' City

2013-11-03 13:40
Manuel Pellegrini (Getty)

Manchester - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini praised his team's killer instinct as they condemned Norwich to a humiliating 7-0 defeat at Eastlands.

Pellegrini has come in for criticism in recent weeks after spluttering City struggled to find their top form.

But Norwich were cut to pieces by some ruthless City finishing on Saturday as the Chilean finally delivered the kind of eye-catching display he was expected to produce when he was hired from Malaga to replace Roberto Mancini.

An own goal from Bradley Johnson set City on their way before David Silva, Matija Nastasic, Alvaro Negredo, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko all got on the scoresheet.

Pellegrini vowed to play attacking football in pursuit of trophies when he took charge and he felt his fourth-placed side had fulfilled that obligation for one weekend at least.

"It was a really good performance.

"The team played really well during the 90 minutes, not only the first half," Pellegrini said.

"Normally when winning 4-0 at half-time, in the second half a team finish or stop.

"But the team continued playing exactly the same and that's very important for me."

It was City's biggest top-flight victory since 1968 and their most emphatic at any level since hammering Huddersfield 10-1 in the old Second Division in 1987.

On some of the fluid moves involving the likes of Aguero, Silva and Samir Nasri, Pellegrini added: "It is the way we work every day.

"It is so important for me to see the way I want them to play.

"They are very good technical players when they move the ball quick and move into space, it is very difficult for our team not to score so we must continue the same way."

The goals City scored took the attention off the opposite end of the field, where Pellegrini opted to make a big change.

After a number of errors this season, England goalkeeper Joe Hart was dropped in favour of Costel Pantilimon, and the Romanian did nothing to harm his cause on a quiet afternoon.

Pellegrini refused to confirm when Hart would return, saying: "My duty is to see, every week, which are the best players to play every game. We have a lot of games.

"This game, I thought Joe needed a rest.

"I think it will be useful for him.

"He has played every match for the last two and a half years here.

"We will work hard behind Joe so he can return to his normal performance level as soon as possible but (against Norwich) I thought the best goalkeeper was Pantilimon, nothing more."

The dismal defeat increased the pressure on Norwich boss Chris Hughton, whose side remain in the relegation zone with just two wins from 10 league matches this season.

A defiant Hughton vowed to fight for his job, but he conceded he has to get Norwich back on track quickly.

"At this moment, it is very tough to sit here on the back of that defeat," Hughton said.

"I have always had confidence in my ability and in the group of players in the dressing room, but we need to address this one quickly.

"It is early in the season but I know we are on the back of a very heavy defeat. We have to bounce back."

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