Set for title fight with Chelsea, Nasri says when City are ‘chasing someone we are good at it’

Looking back on Manchester City's lacklustre 2013 title defence, Samir Nasri vows 'this will not happen again' in the looming 2015 title fight with Chelsea.
Samir Nasri of Manchester City dribbles past George Boyd of Burnley during their 2-2 Premier League draw on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. Alex Livesey / Getty Images / December 28, 2014
Samir Nasri of Manchester City dribbles past George Boyd of Burnley during their 2-2 Premier League draw on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. Alex Livesey / Getty Images / December 28, 2014

Samir Nasri is convinced Manchester City are not about to make the same mistakes they did last time they defended the Premier League title.

City mustered an unconvincing defence of the crown they won in 2012, limping in second to Manchester United after trailing them for the entire second half of the campaign.

This season Nasri believes City are made of sterner stuff and can fight leaders Chelsea for the title they reclaimed last May, even though they squandered a chance to close right in on Jose Mourinho’s men on Sunday.

City could have moved within a point of the Londoners at the top but surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw with relegation battlers Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

Nasri said: “We are aware of what happened (in 2013). That is an example for us. We know what we need to do and what not to do. We learn from our mistakes.

“We finished 11 points behind United and I know this year this will not happen. All we want is to win the league again. We are going to do everything to win the league again.

“Everyone is stronger, more mature. You get stronger mentally, you know how to deal with different situations.

“In this club we have been through different situations. We know how to deal with it, how to deal with pressure. We know when we are second and chasing someone we are good at it.

“We know how to deal with every situation and we are ready for it.”

Nasri felt City let themselves down against Burnley. They looked to be cruising towards a club record 10th successive win after goals from David Silva and Fernandinho in the first half but plucky Burnley hit back.

George Boyd, despite suspicions of offside, changed the game by replying in the 47th minute and Ashley Barnes completed a fine comeback with a superb strike nine minutes from time.

With Chelsea having drawn at Southampton slightly earlier in the afternoon, it seemed like a chance wasted.

Nasri said: “We were aware of the result of Chelsea and it was a great opportunity to come back just one point behind, because we were winning 2-0 against a team who are playing to survive.

“But you have to say they played really good football. They were dangerous during the whole game and I have so much respect for managers who come here and try to play.

“We didn’t play the game we needed to win. Maybe we were a little bit tired, I don’t know, but they played a very good game.

“I am disappointed because at half-time (the manager) said to us not to concede an easy goal because they are a team who plays. He said not to concede because it could be a difficult game afterwards.

“There is no lesson to learn here because you know what you have to do when you play for Manchester City against Burnley at home. We just have to be more clinical up front. We have to score, we have to kill the game sometimes.

“But sometimes you can make mistakes. Even if I think the first goal was offside, things can happen. It wasn’t our day.”

City return to action at home to Sunderland on New Year’s Day, before when a decision could be made over Frank Lampard’s future.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini is keen to extend the former England midfielder’s loan from MLS sister club New York City FC.

It is uncertain whether he will remain for the whole season – as Pellegrini hopes – but he is expected to stay to cover the absence of Yaya Toure for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Nasri, 27, said: “I have said it before, I am really hoping he stays. He has a lot of experience, he knows how to score goals.

“He will be really important for us in the league and in the Champions League.

“We will miss Yaya but I think, even if Yaya was there, he is a good player. We need good players.”

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Published: December 30, 2014 04:00 AM


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