Manuel Pellegrini praises his Manchester City team's character after comeback victory against Everton
Moral lifted at the Etihad after comprehensive defeat by Bayern Munich during the week
Sunday 06 October 2013
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed his side's character as they recovered from a drubbing against Bayern Munich to defeat Everton.
The Toffees went into the clash as the only unbeaten side in the Barclays Premier League but left the Etihad Stadium on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.
It was the same score by which City lost to Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday in a match where they were completely outplayed.
Coming on the back of a league defeat by Aston Villa, it made victory in Saturday's clash very important for Pellegrini's side.
The Chilean said: "I was very pleased for a lot of things. We played the only unbeaten team in the Premier League and a team that plays very well with the ball so it was not an easy game.
"What happened last Wednesday always has a consequence physically and mentally on the team so that's why I am very pleased with the character the team showed."
It was a good performance from City, who went behind to Romelu Lukaku's goal but created a lot of good chances and scored three times through Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and a Tim Howard own goal.
Negredo was named man of the match but David Silva was a key presence in midfield, with the Spaniard setting up Aguero for City's second.
It was Silva's first start for more than a month after recovering from a thigh injury.
Pellegrini said: "David Silva is a very important player. He has quality, he played very, very well. I wasn't sure if he could play the 90 minutes."
James Milner, another standout performer, also praised the performance of Silva.
The England midfielder told www.mcfc.co.uk: "I think we played well against Aston Villa but ended up losing the game but we didn't perform up to our standards in midweek. It was important to bounce back against Everton, who are a very strong team.
"It was great to have David Silva back, too. He's a top player and any team in the world would miss him.
"There's great movement in this team and everyone is comfortable with the ball. That's what the manager is encouraging us to do - play with freedom in the final quarter of the pitch."
The only major negative for City was the loss of captain Vincent Kompany, who limped off in the first half with what appeared to be a recurrence of a groin injury.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez was unhappy with the performance of referee Jon Moss, who awarded City a second-half penalty but turned down Lukaku's appeal in the first half.
Martinez said: "We haven't been lucky at all. We've had a few incidents that could have gone our way and at the moment they're not going our way. They always say that balances out over the course of the season. We'll see.
"We always carried a threat. We had a few opportunities where we were a little bit loose with our ball retention, which is very uncharacteristic of ourselves.
"I do think we lost concentration a little bit and that affected us too much. When you get into a game and you want to be perfect in what you're doing and then all of a sudden the decisions seem to go away from you, you get a little bit frustrated."
One piece of good news for Martinez was the return of Darron Gibson.
The midfielder made only his second appearance of the season after a knee injury as a second-half substitute.
Martinez said: "I thought it was very positive that Darron was fully fit to be in a match environment. It's early to tell if he can play for 90 minutes but it was important that at least he had some action."
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