League Cup win fuels Pellegrini's ambition

ONE DOWN, THREE MORE TO GO? Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (centre) celebrating with teammates after the Citizens beat Sunderland to capture the English League Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.


    Mar 04, 2014

    League Cup win fuels Pellegrini's ambition


    MANCHESTER City manager Manuel Pellegrini ambitiously declared that one trophy would not suffice for his team this season after they overcame Sunderland 3-1 to win the League Cup.

    Sunderland took an early lead through Fabio Borini in Sunday's final at Wembley, but a pair of memorable goals from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri put City in charge before Jesus Navas sealed victory in the final minute.

    It was Pellegrini's first major trophy in European football, but with City still in contention for honours in the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League, there could be more to come.

    City have a chance to avenge their shock loss to Wigan Athletic in last season's FA Cup final when the teams meet in the quarter-finals of this season's tournament next weekend and Pellegrini said that his side would quickly shift their focus to that game.

    "We are going to have (had) a great season when the season ends in May," said the 60-year-old Chilean, who previously spent nine years in Spain with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.

    "We won today just one trophy, but nobody can think that that's enough. Why? We have to win (against) Wigan next Sunday and we will have another semi-final here at Wembley.

    "I don't think the top players from important clubs are ever satisfied with one trophy."

    City's hopes of an unprecedented quadruple were hit by a 0-2 loss to Barcelona in the home leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, but they could still become the first English team to win the domestic treble.

    Mindful of the psychological damage inflicted by last season's loss in the FA Cup final, Pellegrini said that it was important that his side had avoided another upset against a valiant Sunderland side.

    "Of course, it gives us a lot of confidence," he said.

    "When you have a chance to win a title, if you don't do it, maybe you don't work with your mind the same way.

    "We are the only club that has the chance to continue trying to win all the competitions. If you have the chance to win the first, you must do it.

    "I think that for such important players and such a big club as Manchester City, to fail for the second time is not good. They failed last year, but today it was very important for all of us to win."

    Sunderland manager Gus Poyet conceded that City's superior quality had made the difference, joking that there was no way to stop a player like Toure "unless we shoot him".

    Toure's 55th-minute equaliser, a nonchalant 30m lob, was one of the finest goals that Wembley has witnessed, and City's second goal, a devilishly swerving strike by Nasri, arrived just 1min 45sec later.

    However, Premier League survival remains Poyet's top priority, and he expressed hope that Sunderland's determined display against City would inspire the players to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

    "We have done some special things and I hope this gives us the experience to stay in the Premier League," he said.