Manchester City reacted positively to the defeat in their previous game against Arsenal FC, swatting aside Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland side 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

 

It turned out to be an extremely positive Boxing Day for Manchester City who beat Sunderland at home comfortably, before watching title rivals Arsenal FC fall to a dramatic defeat at St.Mary’s later in the day.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini was pleased that his side returned to normality in terms of their play, but rued the injury to captain Vincent Kompany, who had to be withdrawn just nine minutes after coming on against the Black Cats due to the same troublesome calf that has kept him on the sidelines for over a month.

Pellegrini happy with ‘normal performance’ from his side

The Chilean expressed his satisfaction at the thumping win over Sunderland, highlighting the effectiveness of the attack and the his team’s conversion of the chances they created. The 62-year-old believes the scoreline was also important for his side’s confidence.

“It was a very important victory, not only because we won the three points but also in the way we played,” Pellegrini is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “We returned to our normal performance – playing attractive football, scoring goals.

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“I said after we lost against Arsenal it was very difficult to talk about positive things but I think we had more than 60 per cent of possession of the ball. That gave me a sign we were returning to our style.

“It was very important today to score four goals and create at least four more clear chances.”

Kompany injury a major blow

After making his comeback from injury in the second half on Saturday, City captain Vincent Kompany limped off with the same calf problem that had kept him on the sidelines for over a month — to City’s great detriment.

Pellegrini rued the injury to the Belgian, saying after the game: “Vincent is not the best news.

“He was ready to return. I did not want him to play the whole game because we have to play so many games, but he worked the whole week with normality. It is really difficult to understand what happened.

“We will see tomorrow with the doctor’s report but it is the same injury, the same calf.”