Man City 5 Fulham 0: Manuel Pellegrini hails ‘important’ Yaya Toure
Man City 5 Fulham 0: Manuel Pellegrini singles out Yaya Toure for special praise after an emphatic win
Manuel Pellegrini heaped praise on Yaya Toure after Manchester City thrashed 10-man Fulham at Etihad Stadium.
The Ivory Coast international scored from the penalty spot either side of half-time before the 30-year-old curled a brilliant finish past Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale with six minutes remaining.
Not every midfielder scores 20 goals a season so Yaya Toure is a very important player
The Citizens, who moved to within six points of Premier League leaders Chelsea, added a fourth through 28-year-old Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho after Fernando Amorebieta’s red card.
And veteran Argentine defender Martin Demichelis completed the rout with a 88th-minute goal to help City move above Arsenal and into third position, having played three games less than Chelsea.
“After the first penalty, we played free and could score more goals. I am not only happy because we scored five goals but it was very important the way we defended,” Pellegrini told BBC Sport.
“When in attack, it is not always easy not to concede a goal. We have four clean sheets in a row in the Premier League. It is very important to be a very balanced team.
“Not every midfielder scores 20 goals a season so Yaya Toure is a very important player.”
Meanwhile, Fulham manager Felix Magath felt City’s first penalty in the 26th minute changed the clash after the Cottagers had made a promising start.
“Until the first penalty it was not bad. Unfortunately when you gift the first penalty, in my opinion it was not a penalty, that gifts Man City the power,” Magath said.
“The team does not seem to believe we can win after the first goal. “Until the first penalty we were in the game. Such a penalty changed the whole atmosphere. The players didn’t have the confidence to change the situation.
“No one expected we would win at Man City. We have to win our home games, that is the most important work we have to do. We start next week again against Everton.
“Win at home and we are able to avoid relegation.”