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BACK ON SONG

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Manchester City returned to form in the best possible manner after a 7-0 win in the Premier league. They thrashed relegation threatened opponents Norwich at the Etihad stadium to move within six points of table leaders Arsenal, who went on to enjoy a 2-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday. The away from of City has been susceptible, but they have been quite brilliant at home. It was once again demonstrated with a high-intensity performance against Norwich. There were seven different positives for Pellegrini in terms of goal scorers. He said after the match that the intensity of the team was giving him a lot of joy.

City’s recent loss against Chelsea had put them in a distant seventh place, which increased the pressure on Pellegrini. City have not finished outside the top two in the last two seasons. Johnson’s own goal after just 16 minutes put City on their way, as they raced to a 4-0 lead within half-time. David Silva, Nastasic and Negredo were the scorers. This great scoreline did not prevent City from relaxing in the second half. They continued their domination with goals from Yaya Touré, Sergio Aguero, and Edin Dzeko.

Pellegrini said that it was normal for the team to relax after such a brilliant first half, but he is happy that his team did not relax.

“It was a really good performance. The team played really well during the 90 minutes, not only the first half. 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 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,” said Pellegrini.

SOUNESS BACKS CITY

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Sky sports pundit Graeme Souness is of the opinion that Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini will be able to lead Manchester City to title success this campaign. City watched archrivals Manchester United lift their 20th league title last season. Even more than that disappointment, City were thought to be extremely concerned about the failure to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions league in consecutive seasons. This led to the arrival of Pellegrini, whose will be experiencing English football for the first time. He has managed clubs only in Spain and South America.

His biggest job till date was at Real Madrid, but he did not last more than 12 months. He also did not win any major trophies during his time at Real Madrid, which has led to many believing that Pellegrini will take some time adapting to English football. Souness, though, thinks that the manager has enough quality to have led to teams into the semifinals of the Champions league. This will certainly hold him in good stead. The absence of Sir Alex Ferguson makes it a little bit easier for Pellegrini, who will win the league title in his first season according to Souness.

City have already spent close to £ 100 million on improving their squad.

“If you look at what Roberto Mancini did last year. He won the league the year before scoring the most goals and conceding the fewest. So what does he decide to do? He changes the system. Why? Why would you do that? Because I believe a year ago City had the strongest group and I believe now they have the strongest group. But that does not mean they are going to win it. But I do like the manager they have got. I think he’s a manager who keeps it simple,” said the former Liverpool manager.

HAPPY WITH SIGNINGS

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New Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini took time to praise the club’s new signings – Fernandinho and Jesus Navas – when he was unveiled by the club. City have been in discussions with the South American for the last few weeks since the sacking of Mancini. However, they have been able to unveil the former Malaga manager only now. He is expected to achieve success at the European level, which is something that the former manager failed to do despite winning two domestic trophies. Pellegrini will also be responsible for getting the Premier league trophy back to the Etihad stadium.

He will be meeting a Manchester United club that will be without Sir Alex Ferguson as its manager for the first time in 26 years. Some see this as a great signing for Pellegrini to win the league in his first season at the club. However, the South American has not managed league clubs to league titles in Europe. In his only major job at a big club, Pellegrini was rather disappointing as he failed to win any major trophies with Real Madrid. However, he said that he has an extremely strong squad at his disposal.

He also praised Fernandinho and Jesus Navas by saying that they could be crucial to the club this season. Both players were brought into the club for close to £50 million.

“He has impressed me on a number of occasions over the past few years and is another player I’ve taken a keen interest in. He is an experienced international who will further strengthen our midfield and I think he will be well suited to the Premier League. I’m very happy that he was one of my first signings as Manchester City manager and I think he will excite our supporters,” said the South American about Navas and Fernandinho.

NASRI SLAMMED

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Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri was recently heavily criticised by manager Roberto Mancini after the 4-0 win over Newcastle during the weekend. Nasri was one of the high-profile signings under the management of Mancini. He was signed from Arsenal for £ 24 million despite having one season left on his contract. Even though he started his City career in a bright fashion, performances have dipped recently. This led to the 24-year-old being dropped from the first team on a consistent basis.

Recently, Roberto Mancini revealed that there are some players in his squad who need to step up and deliver the performances that they are capable of achieving. This was thought to be an indirect criticism at the Frenchman. Nasri responded to this criticism by putting in one of his best performances of recent times in the 4-0 win over Newcastle United. After the match, Mancini questioned the character of the Frenchman by saying that he should be delivering such performances in every match.

This has resulted in the midfielder responding to the criticism by saying that he is certainly not performing at a lower level than he is capable of. However, he is aware of the fact that this season has not been good for him.

“Mancini has shown a little proof of bad faith when he said he wanted to punch me. I’ve not had a good season, I know it, I’m aware of that. I am the first to be self-critical. But it’s not true that I’m playing at 50%. I think the coach still doesn’t handle English very well and sometimes uses expressions that aren’t really suitable. Arsene Wenger is the greatest coach I’ve worked with,” said Nasri while responding to the criticism and also taking a dig at the City manager by comparing him with Arsene Wenger.