Manuel Pellegrini admits 'very difficult' decision to stick with Joe Hart for Manchester City victory against Everton

Hart couldn't prevent Romelu Lukau's first half shot from going in despite getting a hand to it but Pellegrini refuses to blame the England shot-stopper

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini described his decision to stick with Joe Hart in goal for their 3-1 victory over Everton as “very difficult”.

There were doubts over the 26-year-old's position after he was culpable for two of Bayern Munich's goals in City's Champions League defeat on Wednesday.

It is not the first time recently that Hart has made high-profile mistakes, and Pellegrini pointedly failed to confirm whether he would pick Hart for the clash with the Toffees in the build-up to the game.

Roy Hodgson has assured Hart he will start in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers, and the England boss watched on from the stands at the Etihad Stadium as questions were again asked of Hart.

The City stopper got his hand to Romelu Lukaku's shot in the 16th minute but could not keep it out.

Pellegrini did not blame Hart, saying: "Always the responsibility for the goal is with the whole team."

But asked about his decision to choose Hart ahead of Costel Pantilimon, Pellegrini said: "It wasn't a simple decision, it was a very difficult decision, but I think Joe needs the trust of all of us - of me, the other players and the fans.

"Of course he feels he didn't do well the last game, he feels that he was guilty, but it was more important that today he reflected how strong his character is."

This time the goal did not prove costly as Alvaro Negredo equalised almost immediately and Sergio Aguero put City ahead just before half-time.

The third arrived in the 69th minute, Tim Howard saving Aguero's penalty only for the ball to rebound off a post and back in off the Everton keeper.

The award of the spot-kick was a contentious moment, with Pablo Zabaleta going down under a challenge from Seamus Coleman.

It was one of a number of decisions made by referee Jon Moss that Everton boss Roberto Martinez was not happy with.

Everton appealed for a penalty in the first half when Lukaku felt he was pushed over by Matija Nastasic.

James Milner, meanwhile, was perhaps a little fortunate to get away with a yellow card for a strong challenge on James McCarthy just before the break, although Martinez declined to say whether he thought it should have been red.

The Spaniard said: "My overall disappointment is that the game wasn't controlled at all by the referee.

"There was an incident before we conceded the second goal where Seamus Coleman got involved with Alvaro Negredo, there was an argument.

"There were three players out of the action and you need to see that as a referee and do something about it.

"Then the penalty - if that's a penalty, it's going to be an impossible game. There's contact but there's no impeding. That should never be a penalty, and he didn't have the consistency to give a penalty for Lukaku and Nastastic."

Pellegrini felt discussion of the referee's performance was incidental to the result, saying: "I never talk about referees but I am sure the difference between Manchester City and Everton today was not the referee.

"They had just one chance to score. We scored three goals and we had four or five other chances."

The defeat was Martinez's first in charge of Everton in the Premier League, and he rued City's swift response after Lukaku had given the visitors the lead.

"I thought we started really bright and we wanted to score the first goal," said Martinez.

"I thought it was important today. We couldn't keep the lead long enough. I thought those five or 10 minutes after scoring would have been very important to affect the rest of the performance.

"Conceding was a little bit of a blow but still I saw it as a very open game, a fascinating game of football. From that point on I do feel the referee didn't allow the two teams to compete eye to eye.

"If you concede three goals it makes it very difficult to get a result at a place like this."

PA

News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?