x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Pellegrini impressed with City style

Manager makes 10 changes for English League Cup game against Wigan, but Premier League still win big.

Yaya Toure, right, and Stevan Jovetic scored for a new-look Manchester City line-up. Andrew Yates / AFP
Yaya Toure, right, and Stevan Jovetic scored for a new-look Manchester City line-up. Andrew Yates / AFP

Manchester City made 10 changes but carried on where they left off against Manchester United to power into the fourth round of the English League Cup.

Stevan Jovetic struck his first two goals for the club while Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas were also on target in a comfortable 5-0 win over Championship Wigan at the Etihad Stadium.

Dzeko opened the scoring with a fine volley after 33 minutes while Jovetic’s close-range double came either side of a superb free-kick from substitute Toure.

Navas, also fresh off the bench, completed the rout with a powerful shot four minutes from time.

It was a third impressive win in the space of a week from City after their successful Champions League opener against Viktoria Plzen and Sunday’s stunning 4-1 derby demolition of United.

City scored 12 goals in those three games and manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “I spoke with the players before we started the game, telling them we must always try to play the same way.

“We can change names but for me it was very important to see the same team we saw last Sunday, the same philosophy of football and the same high performance.”

Jovetic, the £22 million (Dh129m) summer signing from Fiorentina, had struggled before bundling in his first on the hour. He grabbed a second when Ryan Shotton made a mess of a clearance in the 83rd minute.

Pellegrini said: “I think it is very important for Stevan.

“He wasn’t playing normally because he had some physical problems but the last two weeks he has been working hard and I am sure he is going to be a really important player for us.”

Toure’s goal was his fifth of the season and his third from a free-kick after similar strikes – at the same end and into the same top corner – against Newcastle and Hull.

Owen Coyle, the Wigan manager, who made nine changes himself for what was a third game in six days, accepted there was a gulf in class between the two sides.

Coyle said: “We worked ever so hard, playing against one of the elite clubs of world football, let alone English football.

“They made 10 changes and their team was probably worth about £200m.

“There is no getting away from it, we knew it was a tough ask.

“As if their starting line-up wasn’t enough, I think the three subs they brought on probably added another £100million to the tally, but I am disappointed to lose by any margin of goals.

“We gave away really soft goals. We can learn from that.”

The downside for City was the continued absence of playmaker David Silva with a thigh injury and it could be next Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich before he plays again.

Pellegrini said: “For next Saturday I don’t think he can play but maybe for the next game of the Champions League, I think he could be fit.”