Football Football

Finish in style, Pellegrini tells City


DZEKO-SPURSLONDON, May 10- Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Saturday encouraged his side to finish with a flourish as they bid to secure the Premier League title against West Ham United on Sunday.

City’s 4-0 win at home to Aston Villa in mid-week left them effectively needing only a point against West Ham to claim the title, due to their sizeable goal-difference advantage over second-place Liverpool.

However, Pellegrini does not want his side to settle for a draw, and having seen City demolish West Ham 6-0 in a League Cup semi-final first leg in January, he expects a similarly ruthless performance.

“We beat them here (the Etihad Stadium) in the Capital One Cup. It was a very good game and I hope we can repeat it tomorrow (Sunday), but the best way to do it is to play in the same way,” he said.

“We did it especially against Aston Villa. I think that was one of the best games we played the whole year.”

City’s four-goal display against Villa elevated their total of league goals to 100, but they had to wait until the final half an hour before an Edin Dzeko brace gave them control of the game.

With Sergio Aguero having been sidelined by injury in recent weeks and Alvaro Negredo struggling for form, Dzeko has emerged as a key figure in City’s late-season surge.

The Bosnian striker has scored five times in City’s last three games — claiming braces against Villa and Everton, and another goal in a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace — to increase his haul in all competitions to 26.

“I think it was very important at the beginning of the season to have a good squad; more than a team, a squad,” said Pellegrini.

“At this moment Edin is in a very high level of performance. He is doing very well. In other moments it was Alvaro Negredo or Kun Aguero, so I think all the players are involved.”

Pellegrini also spoke in praise of Yaya Toure, City’s leading scorer in the league, who took his tally for the Premier League campaign to 20 goals with a memorable late solo goal against Villa.

“I am not surprised because Yaya is a top player. Before I came here, he was very important in this team,” Pellegrini added.

“He is now in his best moment with more experience, but still young with a lot of quality. I maybe did not expect so many goals, but I think Yaya has the quality and power to do it.”