Anfield

Next Game

Liverpool v Man City

Thursday, 31 July 2014, 00:00

Friendly Match

Last Game

Man City 5 - 1 AC Milan

Sunday, 27 July 2014, 21:00

Friendly Match

Pellegrini praises Pantilimon

Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise for goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon after he was named man of the match in the 2-0 win over Newcastle - but will not decide who will start in goal for Manchester City against Norwich on Saturday.

Last Updated: 31/10/13 at 11:37 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Impressed by goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon

Manuel Pellegrini: Impressed by goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon

The Romanian was brought in to replace Joe Hart in City's goal and pulled off several fine saves to keep the score at 0-0 into extra time.

He could now replace under-fire Hart in City's Premier League game at the weekend.

Pellegrini was not surprised by his performance.

He said: "Pantilimon has always had my trust and that of the team.

"He is a good player, that's why he is here. He may not have played too much because Joe Hart plays last year and this year but I trust him to play.

"I think for him and the team to keep a clean sheet today was important."

Pellegrini insisted, however, that he has yet to determine Hart's fate.

Pantilimon was hardly overworked on Wednesday night but did everything that was required of him when called upon.

He got down well while partially unsighted to paw a Shola Ameobi effort wide in the first half and then, with the scores still level early in added time, the Romanian came out to meet Papiss Cisse and stood firm to make a strong save.

That latter intervention was picked out by home manager Alan Pardew as the key moment of the match, giving City the platform to secure passage to the quarter-finals via goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko.

The focus on the under-pressure Hart was inevitable, but Pellegrini did little to fan the flames around England's number one.

While he stopped short of guaranteeing a return to the starting XI against Norwich on Saturday, he also declined to anoint Pantilimon as his successor.

"He is a very good goalkeeper and he normally plays in the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup," said Pellegrini.

"This was a very important match for him. But I will start to think about the game against Norwich on Thursday. Today I was just thinking about winning this match.

"I think that we will talk tomorrow (about the team selection). One goalkeeper can play but the other will have our full support. We will think about it."

Pressed for further details about Hart's standing, Pellegrini responded curtly: "I have just told you I will think about that tomorrow."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o Daniel, we're f***ed next season

footyfan52
Sturridge: We're moving on

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

Footer 365

Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hinted that it will take time for him to be successful at Old Trafford, claiming he may struggle for the first three months...

Transfer news: Former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho to name new club

Ronaldinho is set to announce he has joined a new club after parting company with Atletico Mineiro.

Transfer News: Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal looking to sign a defender

Louis van Gaal was happy with Manchester United's performance against Inter but confirmed he wants a new defender.

Mail Box

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

Youth Development Has To Be The Future

A varied Mailbox has thoughts on transfer targets, youth development, the obsession over 3-5-2, some innovative Blackpool suggestions and why Real bought Kroos...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property