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City needed freshening up, says Pellegrini

05 March 2015, 11:38

London - Manuel Pellegrini explained his decision to drop captain Vincent Kompany to the bench for Wednesday's 2-0 Premier League home victory over Leicester City, saying he needed to freshen up his faltering champions.

"Kompany (didn't start) for the same reason Zabaleta, Fernandinho, (Samir) Nasri and (Edin) Dzeko weren't playing -- it was important today to refresh the team both mentally and physically," Pellegrini told the BBC.

"It was not a difficult decision -- I felt we needed to refresh the team tonight. I felt it was a good moment to rest him."

After chastening 2-1 defeats by Barcelona in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Premier League, there was an anxiety about City's play, but David Silva's goal just before the break and James Milner's late effort proved sufficient to see off a Leicester side rooted to the foot of the table.

Manchester City remained five points behind leaders Chelsea with the London club having played a game less but Pellegrini said they were not pre-occupied by the leaders' results.

"When you don't have the result you need in the last match, the next game is very difficult and that's why today it was most important to get three points but we dominated the game," he said.

Also read: Wisecracking Mourinho hails "great victory" by Chelsea

"We are not thinking about Chelsea, just our team. Just to win our game, we can think nothing about what Chelsea can do.

"We have to think about performances and see at the end of the season whether they drop points or not."

Leicester hit the post and had two strong penalty appeals waved away, a cause of irritation for manager Nigel Pearson.

"They are always big calls. But three in one night is a bit surprising, isn't it?" he said.

"I don't need to talk about those decisions because the fact you are interested in them means you have seen them and know the rules.

"I know what I think and I'm keeping it to myself."

- Reuters


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