Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v Man City

Saturday, 04 October 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Etihad Stadium

Last Game

Man City 1 - 1 Roma

Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group E

Hart headache

Niall Quinn says Costel Pantilimon's performance in Manchester City's 2-0 win over Newcastle has given Manuel Pellegrini a selection 'headache'.

Last Updated: 31/10/13 at 10:40 Post Comment

City made 10 changes from the side that was beaten by Chelsea at the weekend, with the Romanian brought in to replace the struggling Joe Hart, who was largely accountable for the goal that cost his side a point at Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old Pantilimon, who joined City in 2012, pulled off several fine saves to keep the score at 0-0, forcing the Capital One Cup fourth-round tie to go to extra time.

And Sky Sports expert Niall Quinn believes the keeper has taken the opportunity to prove himself in excellent style.

"It was more than a good impression from Costel Pantilimon," he said.

"I think he's given his manager a headache now ahead of this weekend. I don't buy the argument that Joe Hart was dropped, I think this player would have played anyway and he's taken that chance really well.

"When Newcastle had that dominance, he was absolutely unbeatable and he made the game so much easier for his team-mates."

Squad strength

In extra-time, City showed their strength and tapped in to their plentiful bench of stars who came on and made difference with Alvaro Negredo netting the first and then fellow substitute Silva setting up Edin Dzeko for the second.

Quinn said Pantilimon's performance will give the City manager a selection dilemma but with such a quality squad, he's always going to have big calls to make.

"Pellegrini has now got to think about it [playing Pantilimon instead of Hart] but I don't think it's a foregone conclusion," Quinn added.

"He's going to have to look at who he's playing at the weekend and say 'OK, it's Norwich and a home game, they won't be putting as much pressure on us, will I stick with my man?'

"It's a manager's duty, but it's a great thing. He made 10 changes tonight and brought in a whole new team. His bench was incredible tonight, he's got decisions like that to make and he'll be making them for years to come.

"This is his first test and Joe Hart will be hoping he sticks by him but that guy Pantilimon with what he's done tonight, he's made it really difficult to be dropped at the weekend."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ndros f***ing Townsend, really Roy? ...was also by first thought. Followed closely by where have all the defenders gone? , and Jesus, that midfield looks weak .

al4monkey
England call-up for Clyne

T

he 'where does it end' argument is an absurd one and completely misses the point of the Rooney Rule, which applies to all minorities. It doesn't force any team to appoint anyone, it merely requires them to interview at least one minority candidate.

foreverlostsoul
No Good Reason Not To Try The Rooney Rule

Y

ou make a lot of good points, but I still find myself instinctively against anything that makes it easier for Paul Ince to get managerial roles

stevenjameshyde
No Good Reason Not To Try The Rooney Rule

Footer 365

European Qualifiers: Nathaniel Clyne and Jonjo Shelvey in England squad as Daniel Sturridge is omitted

Nathaniel Clyne has been named in England's squad for the European Qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

England Under-21: Saido Berahino, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers in Euro play-offs squad

Saido Berahino, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers have been named in the England Under-21 squad for the Euro U21 playoffs.

Premier League: Vincent Kompany defends Manchester City colleague Yaya Toure

Vincent Kompany has defended Man City team-mate Yaya Toure from criticism over his form, saying he remains a key figure.

Mail Box

Danny, Champion Of Arsenal's World

It's a Mailbox filled with Liverpool glumness, but happiness surrounding Danny, champion of Arsenal's world. Plus, can someone try and teach Balotelli the offside rule?

It Was Better When City Were Rubbish

'I think I preferred it when we were s**t' says one City fan in the afternoon mailbox. There's a decent chat about the empty seats plus views on Liverpool and Roma...

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