x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

'Win every game and the title is ours' says Manchester City's Samir Nasri

The victory over Chelsea was a signal to rivals Manchester United that the club owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed are 'here until the end'.

Samir Nasri scored the winner against Chelsea on Wednesday, keeping City a point behind Manchester United. Glyn Kirk / AFP
Samir Nasri scored the winner against Chelsea on Wednesday, keeping City a point behind Manchester United. Glyn Kirk / AFP

MANCHESTER // Samir Nasri is targeting a run of 10 successive wins to clinch Manchester City's first league title for 44 years.

The French midfielder's late goal earned a 2-1 victory against Chelsea on Wednesday and the club owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed have the chance to displace neighbours Manchester United at the Premier League summit when they travel to Stoke City tomorrow.

United, who then face Fulham on Monday, still have to visit the Etihad Stadium on April 30 and Nasri said: "We can win the last nine games. It's as simple as that. And if we do it, we will be champions."

But Nasri believes the title race will go down to the wire and does not expect United to drop many points in the remainder of the campaign.

"I know United will be there until the end," he said. "They have the experience, they have a manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] who has won everything for 25 years.

"Sometimes you have to be realistic, and I don't think they will lose too many games.

"First of all, because they don't have any really difficult games, and secondly, because they have experience of that type of game."

City are the newcomers to such situations. It is why the burden of proof is on them and why Wednesday's fightback against Chelsea could be so significant.

"It is a signal to United we will be here until the end," Nasri said, after Sergio Aguero's equaliser and his Carlos Tevez-supplied winner.

"You have to do something special in this kind of game. Carlos did it with his assist when I scored, and Sergio did it with the penalty.

"You need that in this type of game, otherwise you will not win it; the goals will not fall from the sky."

Tevez's contribution was especially noteworthy. The Argentine made his first appearance since September, illustrating his ability in his cameo.

After his dispute with the club, he has been welcomed back into the fold by his teammates and Nasri believes he can play a pivotal role in the last next two months.

"Since he came back to training he has shown great spirit and focus on his training," Nasri said.

"He is a great player, one of the best and when he is 100 per cent, he is really, really hard to stop.

"The assist will give him confidence because it's not easy to come back after six months without playing a game.

"He played two games for the reserves, but that's not the same. He showed he is ready to fight for the club, and it's really important for us."

Tevez's second coming was also notable for Nasri's most influential performance since his summer move from Arsenal.

It earned him praise from his manager although, inevitably, Roberto Mancini adopted his default line with younger players and argued there is room for improvement.

The Italian feels the midfielder can average a goal every four games and, separately, suggested he could be as good as Xavi and Andres Iniesta

"I can't say I will be like Iniesta; it would be silly to say that," Nasri said. "But I can do my own thing. At the moment they are on top, and I am 24. I know that if I have confidence I can get better."

He requires encouragement and believes he is in the right place to receive it.

"I am someone who works with love," he said. "I like to have a 'dad' with me, then I can give everything, and that is what I am starting to feel here, that everyone is giving me the confidence."

His manager, he says, is a possible father figure.

"He is the same age as my father, so he can be."