Pellegrini: Toure at his best

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Yaya Toure is in prime form and earning reward for his hard work in training.

Last Updated: 25/09/13 at 15:41 Post Comment

Toure: Key figure for Manchester City

Toure: Key figure for Manchester City

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Yaya Toure is in prime form and earning reward for his hard work in training.

Toure's fine start to the season continued as he struck his fifth goal in seven games in a 5-0 Capital One Cup thrashing of Championship side Wigan at the Etihad Stadium.

It came direct from a free-kick in almost identical fashion to the midfielder's set-piece strikes against Newcastle and Hull last month.

In addition the Ivorian scored a fine long-range effort against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League a week ago and added another from inside the box in last Sunday's derby destruction of Manchester United.

Toure, 30, was not at his most influential as City mounted an underwhelming title challenge last season but he appears revitalised as Pellegrini's input starts to take hold.

Pellegrini said: "He is a very important player for the team.

"I don't know what happened last year but all the players are playing with trust and a goal always give them trust. I think it is very important.

"We are always practising. Yaya stays normally, kicking the ball after we finish the daily work.

"He is really in a good moment (of form) also, (although) it is not normal for someone always (to be) scoring free-kicks."

Toure had been introduced as a second-half substitute for Fernandinho, who had been the only starter from the 4-1 win over United to have been retained in the side.

Those 10 changes barely disrupted the hosts' momentum as they overran a Wigan side that bore little resemblance to the one which stunned City in May's FA Cup final.

Dzeko volleyed in the opener 12 minutes before the interval before Stevan Jovetic netted his first two goals for the club either side of Toure's sublime strike.

Jesus Navas, also fresh from the bench, completed the rout in the closing stages.

City had numerous other opportunities, including a powerful effort against the woodwork from 17-year-old Marcos Lopes, who was making his full debut.

Jovetic, the £24million summer signing from Fiorentina, was pleased to open his City account after an injury had delayed his start to the season.

The Montenegro striker, whose form may not be good news for England with a vital World Cup qualifier next month, said: "I am so happy for this victory and my goals.

"The team played very good. For my first goal Micah Richards did everything and I just put the ball in the goal.

"I am so happy and I hope we are going to continue this way.

"I feel very well here, from my first day they accepted me very well.

"It was a bit difficult for me because I came last and I was injured when they played the first games. I was doing preparation.

"Now I feel much better and I hope playing more I am going to show much more."

Jovetic, 23, will now hope to push for a place in the side to face Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League this weekend.

Defender Richards, who was making his first appearance of the season after overcoming a hamstring injury, and midfielder James Milner also impressed to keep themselves at the forefront of Pellegrini's thoughts.

Portuguese forward Lopes, who played a left-wing role against Wigan, is likely to return to work with Patrick Vieira's elite development squad but his potential was evident.

Lopes, who made a goalscoring substitute appearance against Watford last season, told City TV: "I felt very good. I felt it was a good opportunity for me and I tried to do my best.

"I almost scored - the ball hitting the bar - but I am happy because I think I did a good performance and I have to keep working.

"It was very good to play with big players like this in a big stadium. It was fantastic."


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