Pellegrini wants Manchester City to go out with a bang

Manhester City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa in mid-week left them effectively needing only a point against West Ham on Sunday to claim the title due to their sizeable goal-difference advantage over second-place Liverpool.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini encouraged his side to finish with a flourish as they bid to secure the Premier League title against West Ham United on Sunday.  EPA/PETER POWELL
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini encouraged his side to finish with a flourish as they bid to secure the Premier League title against West Ham United on Sunday. EPA/PETER POWELL

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini encouraged his side to finish with a flourish as they bid to secure the Premier League title against West Ham United on Sunday.

City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa in mid-week left them effectively needing only a point against West Ham to claim the title due to their sizeable goal-difference advantage over second-place Liverpool.

However, Pellegrini does not want his side to settle for a draw, and having seen City demolish West Ham 6-0 in a League Cup semi-final first leg in January, he expects a similar performance.

“It was a very good game and I hope we can repeat it tomorrow, but the best way to do it is to play in the same way,” he said yesterday.

“We did it especially against Aston Villa. I think that was one of the best games we played the whole year.”

City midfielder David Silva praised Pellegrini for giving the team an “extra push” in his first year in charge after taking over for Roberto Mancini.

“He’s made it a happy place,” Silva told City’s website. “He’s brought a joy and happiness, also to our style of play. We are attack-minded and we score lots of goals. He’s made us competitive in every competition.

“We’ve gone farther in them this season. He’s given us that extra push and taken us one step farther.

“His calmness has been obvious. He’s added that to the whole club. And it really helps us at difficult moments. It’s nice to have that calm attitude around you when things get tough.”

The title appears to have slipped through Liverpool’s fingers, but manager Brendan Rodgers says his team will return stronger next season.

“This is only the beginning for us,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

“This season isn’t a one-off. ... We are going to improve. Of course, I would expect the other teams to spend and improve, but we will get better as well.”

Tottenham need one point for Europa League qualification

Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood is targeting a final-day win over Aston Villa to ensure the club will be playing Europa League football next season.

Sherwood’s side are sixth and go into the game knowing a point against Villa is enough to keep Manchester United behind them and secure European qualification.

“It is a huge game,” Sherwood said. “I will be guaranteeing to our fans that I will be selecting a team that want to play for Tottenham in this last game and want to be playing in the Europa League next season.”

sports@thenational.ae

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Published: May 10, 2014 04:00 AM

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