English Premier League: Pellegrini philosophy key to City success: Kolarov

Defending in full-back areas now easier, says Serb ahead of Soton clash


Afp April 04, 2014
STRONG CONTENDERS: City are the second most prolific team in the Premier League, scoring 80 goals this season, with only leaders Liverpool (88) having found the net more often. PHOTO: AFP

MANCHESTER: Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov believes the attacking philosophy adopted by manager Manuel Pellegrini has also helped his side become tighter at the back ahead of their Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday.

City are the second most prolific team in the Premier League, scoring 80 goals this season, with only leaders Liverpool (88) having found the net more often.

Pellegrini's title-chasers have also conceded just 28 goals which gives them the second meanest defence in the division behind Chelsea (24) and as a result their goal difference of 52 is the best overall.

Serbia international Kolarov believes defending, particularly in the full-back areas, has become easier because of the attacking intent shown by City, who trail leaders Liverpool by four points but remain favourites to win the title with two games in hand.

"As a full-back I have to think of defending," said Kolarov. "But if you have a winger against you for example, it is difficult for him if you are always attacking, because he has to follow you.

"I have also been creating chances, and personally feel I have been having a good season — I hope it can finish this way."

Mourinho aims to revive ailing Chelsea

Jose Mourinho will attempt to revive Chelsea's campaign after a disastrous week that has damaged their ambitions in both the Champions League and the Premier League.

The Blues find themselves in the unfamiliar position of trying to avoid a third successive defeat when Stoke visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Seven days previously, Mourinho's side unexpectedly lost at Crystal Palace, followed by a painful 3-1 reverse at Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

Despite Mourinho's pessimism, Chelsea remain in the title hunt.

That ensures their focus will remain on Stoke and two Blues stars hope Chelsea can lift spirits ahead of the PSG meeting.

Blues centre-back Gary Cahill said, "We've been here before, against Napoli in the year we won it. We've got the character and the players to do it.

"We've got a big task ahead of us and we need to approach it in the right manner."

And Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard added, "We only have one thing to do — attack and score. Paris are a great team but Chelsea can turn things around at home.

"We have already proved that and we are capable of doing it again."

Young wants United to maintain momentum at Newcastle

Ashley Young has urged his Manchester United teammates to carry the feel-good factor from an impressive performance against Bayern Munich into their clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

David Moyes' side held their own against Champions League holders Bayern on Tuesday as they ground out a 1-1 draw which keeps them in with a chance of progressing to the last-four in next week's quarter-final second leg in Germany.

"We've got to keep the momentum going," said Young. "We want to take three points from the weekend into the second leg against Bayern and then see how things go.”

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