Chelsea not a one-man band – Pellegrini

2014-09-20 09:34

London – Chelsea’s in-form striker Diego Costa will be a threat but the Premier League leaders are more than a one-man band, champions Manchester City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini has said.

City host table-toppers Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow after a slow start to their defence of the Premier League title while Jose Mourinho’s team have made a ­rip-roaring start, winning all four matches.

Much of Chelsea’s early season success has been down to Costa, who has scored seven goals in four league appearances, but Pellegrini says the west Londoners are not reliant on only the Spanish striker.

“I don’t think Chelsea are just about Diego Costa,” the Chilean told a news conference. “They have very good players and we will have to play a very good game if we want to win.

“They have started very well and they are playing very well. They have increased their squad with better players so for me, it is no surprise they are there.”

City will be without striker Stevan Jovetic and Brazilian midfielder Fernando for the visit of Chelsea, but strikers Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero should be fit while former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, the club’s all-time top scorer, is expected to start on the bench.

Having collected seven points from their first four games this season, City trail Chelsea by five points and Pellegrini does not want to see them slip further behind.

“It is very important to win on Sunday, but there is a long way until the end of the season,” he said. “This is just the fifth game and we have to play 38, so we will see what happens in the future.”

Pellegrini defended midfielder Yaya Toure after the powerful Ivorian was criticised for his defensive performance during Wednesday’s Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich.

“It is not fair for me to criticise what Yaya did in the last game,” Pellegrini said. “In this team – at least in my way of thinking – when we win or lose it is because all the team did well or did bad.

“I don’t agree that Yaya has all the responsibility about the game we played. Yaya always has commitment with the team, the squad and with his teammates. He does not have a problem.”

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