English Premiership

Pellegrini hails 'hard working, important' Nasri

2016-04-10 13:35
Samir Nasri (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini hailed Samir Nasri as a "hard working, important player" after the French international marked only his second league start of the season with the winner against West Brom.

However, the 28-year-old won't feature in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg home clash against Paris Saint-Germain after not being included in City's Champions League squad due to his lengthy absence.

"We expected he was going to come back in the middle of April but we needed to play the Champions League in February and we had just Kun (Aguero) as a striker," said the City manager.

"(Wilfried) Bony was injured so it was important to include Kelechi (Iheanacho) so Samir Nasri had to stay out, but I don't think he is able to play in three days' more.

"I'm very happy for him. He was very unlucky to have that kind of injury. It's very strange to have six months with a muscle injury but he had to have surgery.

"He has worked very well and returned sooner than the doctor expected. I am very impressed he played the 90 minutes after so many months without playing. He is a very important player."

Nasri, who had to undergo surgery after a thigh muscle was torn from the bone in a training-ground injury last October, said: "It was great to be back and to score the winning goal.

"It has been more than five months since I have been out so I can't explain how happy I am. It is the best thing to do before we play Paris St-Germain in the Champions League next week.

"The medical staff have done some good work but when you are out for so long, you want to prove to everyone you have the quality to be in the side. With all the new players, I wanted to contribute to the team."

Stephane Sessegnon's early strike gave West Brom the lead but that was cancelled out by Aguero's penalty -- his 23rd goal of the season.

Nasri, in his first start since September, scored the winning goal as City moved within two points of third-placed Arsenal who were held to a 3-3 draw at West Ham in the race to finish in the top four and secure Champions League football for next season.

"It was very difficult for me to choose the choose the starting 11 for different reasons, players that had some problem, players that were tired, players like Yaya (Toure) who had worked for just two days and players like Samir Nasri and (Fabian) Delph who had to play together after so many months without playing," added Pellegrini.

"We are always looking up, not behind our shoulders. You must continue to be as near to the top of the table as you can.

"This was a very important game because the four teams who are involved with us in those positions in the table play together, West Ham and Arsenal, and tomorrow Tottenham and Manchester United."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? 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.