English Premier League: Pellegrini trusts City to seize title chance

Manager confident of team’s potential after 2-0 victory over Palace.

Afp April 28, 2014
Chelsea’s 2-0 success on Sunday effectively means that City can claim the title by winning their remaining three games. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Manuel Pellegrini claims he never lost faith that Manchester City could win the Premier League after his side regained control of the title race with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.

On a potentially decisive weekend in the battle for supremacy at the top of the table, City took full advantage of Liverpool’s unexpected 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea with a ruthless performance just hours later in south London.

City remain third, but they are now only three points adrift of Liverpool, crucially with a game in hand and a vastly superior goal difference, and one behind second placed Chelsea.

Pellegrini’s team know that, whatever Liverpool and Chelsea do in their last two matches, City will be crowned champions for the second time in three years if they win their final three fixtures at Everton next Saturday and then at home against Aston Villa and West Ham — providing they maintain their goal difference advantage over Liverpool.

It is an enviable position, although not one that many would have envisaged for City just two weeks ago when they followed an agonising 3-2 defeat at Liverpool with a lacklustre draw against struggling Sunderland.

Yet Pellegrini insists he never doubted City would get another shot at the silverware given the unpredictable nature of this season’s title race.

“We have always trusted that we can do it,” said Pellegrini. “After we lost to Liverpool I said that things can still happen. We just had to win our games.”

“For the moment we’ll continue in third position, so we have to play and win our three games.

“But the good thing is that the destiny is in our own hands at the moment.

“Do we have the advantage? No. But it depends what we can do in the future, that’s very important. We have to remain focused on ourselves.”

Pellegrini revealed City’s players were keeping tabs on the action at Anfield before they kicked off at Palace, and he was quick to warn them not to lose focus once that result went their way.

They heeded his words with a powerful display as Edin Dzeko headed home from Yaya Toure’s cross in the fourth minute before Toure underlined his huge importance to the team with a superb solo effort in the 43rd minute to mark his return from a groin injury.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2014.

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