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Manuel Pellegrini delighted by Manchester City’s dominant start

New boss expects great things from striker Edin Dzeko after 4-0 rout of Newcastle United

Image Credit: EPA
Manchester City's Edin Dzeko (L) has a shot saved by Newcastle United's Tim Krul (R) during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, 19 August 2013.
Gulf News

Manchester: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted he was delighted to see his side mark his first match in charge with a stylish 4-0 victory over 10-man Newcastle on Monday.

City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners want Pellegrini to copy Barcelona’s blueprint of winning with flair and the former Malaga coach took heart from the way his new players implemented his passing philosophy during the first Premier League match of his Eastlands reign.

Goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri destroyed Newcastle, who had Steven Taylor sent off just before half-time.

“For me the most important thing was the way we played,” Pellegrini said. “We tried to play good football for 90 minutes. We scored four goals and we had at least six or seven chances.

“The players enjoyed the way we played, we played as an aggressive team without the ball and that’s important if we want to be an offensive team.

“All of the players really worked really hard in both things.”

Pellegrini enjoyed every minute of his first Premier League debut, but the Chilean insisted he wouldn’t be happy unless his team built on the impressive start.

“It is my first official experience of the Premier League, although I played a lot of times against English teams like Manchester United and Arsenal in the past,” he said.

“I’m very happy to be here and I really enjoyed it; the match, the people, the fans.

“It’s a very good start and we must continue this way.”

The only dark cloud for Pellegrini was an injury to captain Vincent Kompany which forced the Belgian defender to come off in the 70th minute.

Pellegrini admitted he wouldn’t be certain what the problem was until Kompany was checked out by the medical team.

“We will see during the week about Vincent Kompany,” he added. “The doctor will know exactly what injury he has. We will see what the best thing to do is.”

Pellegrini also believes Edin Dzeko is finally ready to fulfil his potential at Eastlands.

Dzeko joined City from Wolfsburg in a £27 million deal in January 2011 but the striker has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter.

The 27-year-old was City’s top goalscorer in the Premier League last season with 14 goals, yet had been tipped to move on following the arrivals of highly-priced forwards Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic in pre-season.

But when Pellegrini took over as Roberto Mancini’s replacement he made it clear that he wished to keep hold of Dzeko.

The Bosnia international responded by delivering an impressive pre-season and put in an outstanding performance after starting in City’s 4-0 win over Newcastle in their opening match of the Premier League campaign on Monday.

He was unfortunate not to score himself but showed real energy and desire against Alan Pardew’s side.

And Pellegrini feels Dzeko, who has also stated he thinks the new manager will get the best out of him, will now be able to show what he is capable of.

“I trust a lot in Edin Dzeko. It was a pity he didn’t score against Newcastle because he had a lot of chances, he played very well,” Pellegrini said.

“With the ball we all know he is a very good player but he also played without the ball. He worked a lot on trying to recover the ball in attack and after that, he had three or four important chances and deserved to score a goal.

“I am sure we are going to see this season the Edin Dzeko that Manchester City bought two years ago from Wolfsburg.

“I spoke with him the first day I arrived here and I am sure we will see the Dzeko all of you are waiting for.”

Although Pellegrini is now awaiting news of Vincent Kompany’s groin problem, which he fears could keep the City captain out for up to two weeks, it could not have been a better start for the new manager.

David Silva scored the opener against Newcastle within six minutes and Sergio Aguero doubled the advantage before Steven Taylor was sent off for striking Aguero with his arm.

Yaya Toure’s free-kick and a simple finish for Samir Nasri completed an emphatic victory, but Pellegrini is adamant there is much more to come from the team as they adapt to his style.

“I don’t think it is a dream start but it is a very good start,” he said.

“I was very confident the team would play well. We worked very hard during pre-season, trying another style of football and maybe we can continue improving every week.

“For the first match I think we did it very well.”