City out to prove bore draw was an aberration

LONDON • Manuel Pellegrini vows Manchester City will aim for another goal glut, as the most prolific side in the English Premier League set their sights on Norwich City today.

The league leaders suffered a rare blank last Sunday when they ground out a 0-0 draw against city rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. That was the first time City had failed to score this season and, and their conservative tactics made headlines.

Pellegrini has made it clear he does not expect a repeat against Norwich, after normal service was resumed in midweek when a 5-1 win over Crystal Palace took City into the League Cup quarter-finals.

"It is the way we normally play. Maybe it was an accident on Sunday that, especially in the second half, we couldn't create chances," said the City manager. "But it is not our style."

City have scored 18 goals in their last four games at Eastlands across four different competitions.

The last three of those games did not involve leading scorer Sergio Aguero, who remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Striker Kelechi Iheanacho netted against Palace and was named Man of the Match, and Pellegrini could hand the 19-year-old his first Premier League start.

"It's important that the young players have a chance, they take it," the Chilean said yesterday. "I'm very happy he could demonstrate what he could do but it's just one game, we need him to do it every time he plays.

"In the way he played he demonstrated what he can do and he will have an option to start."

City handed Norwich a 7-0 thrashing last time they visited the Etihad Stadium. The Canaries were also at the wrong end of a 2-6 result in their last away game at Newcastle.

But Pellegrini is only concerned about the form of his side.

"I think that the performance against Palace was very good," said the Chilean, who confirmed that David Silva remains sidelined along with Gael Clichy, Fabian Delph, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta.

"Now we must repeat it tomorrow. I never complain about the amount of injuries, but to keep playing this way with so many missing and scoring goals is important for the trust of the team."

Norwich did not progress in the League Cup in midweek but Alex Neil's side will welcome the opportunity to concentrate their focus solely on the league until next year.

A return of just two points from their last five league games has left them in 16th place, two places and three points above the relegation zone.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline 'City out to prove bore draw was an aberration'. Print Edition | Subscribe