Pellegrini praises Toure 'character' after Swansea victory

The Ivorian netted the winning goal as Manchester City triumphed and his manager was keen to credit his desire in a week where his future at the club came into question again


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has praised Yaya Toure’s character after the midfielder scored the winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Swansea at the Etihad Stadium.

The visitors gave City problems early on and took the lead through Wilfried Bony, but Stevan Jovetic equalised before Toure’s superb run and shot helped clinch the three points.

The Ivorian’s future at the club remains a topic of continued speculation, and in midweek he stated that “you can never close the door on a big club” when asked about possible interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Pellegrini was keen to credit his overall display and also his desire to complete the match despite feeling fatigue in the closing stages.

He told journalists post-match: “He [Toure] was tired but he had the personality and the character to continue playing to the end, and I think he played very well. It’s not possible for Yaya to score the amount of goals that he did last season, it’s important for him to play well, and I felt he played very well today.

“I think it’s always important for him to score, but I think that we played very well today, we had the trust to continue playing, and we had plenty of chances to score against a very good team.”

The former Real Madrid boss also looked ahead to the crunch Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, and stated that although he was content with the victory, he is hopeful the team can eradicate any errors before the Germans arrive.

He added: “We have to add more points, we have 21 points to play for in December and it’s important to win as many points as we can. The trust of the team is better going into the match against Bayern Munich.

“We work every day in training on defending and hopefully on Tuesday we won’t make the mistakes we made today.”

Kompany and Lampard fit for Manchester City

The centre-back missed the 2-2 draw with QPR before sitting out both of Belgium’s games during the international break, while the former England man has shaken off a slight knock


Vincent Kompany and Frank Lampard are available for Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Swansea City on Saturday.

City captain Kompany missed the 2-2 draw with QPR before the international break with a calf strain, and did not feature for Belgium in their outings against Iceland and Wales.

But manager Manuel Pellegrini announced in his press conference on Friday that the influential central defender has recovered and is fit for the match at the Etihad Stadium.

“Vincent Kompany had a small problem but he is available for the game tomorrow,” he said.

Lampard, who had been a slight doubt despite appearing as a second-half substitute against QPR, is also in the frame, Pellegrini confirmed, although David Silva (knee), Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov (both calf) are out.

City have faltered in recent weeks, winning just once in their last six matches in all competitions, and Pellegrini hopes Saturday’s match will mark the start of an improved run of form.

“I hope we can return to our normal form now the international break is over,” he added. “Swansea are a very good technical side and we are expecting a difficult afternoon.”

Yaya Toure – whose performances have attracted criticism this season – helped Ivory Coast qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations during the international break, meaning City will have to cope without the powerhouse midfielder when the tournament takes place in January and February.

“It was very important for Yaya to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and I am very happy for him,” Pellegrini said.

“Of course we will miss Yaya in January but we will decide how we cover his absence in December.”

City ace Yaya Toure refuses to rule out PSG move

The Ivory Coast international says he would “never close the door to a big club”, while he believes his current club’s poor form can be put down to post-World Cup fatigue


Yaya Toure has refused to rule out a move to Paris Saint-Germain amid speculation of interest from the Ligue 1 champions.

The Manchester City midfielder has struggled to find his best form this season, and after claims that he was unhappy at the Etihad Stadium from his agent Dimitri Seluk, Laurent Blanc’s team have been reported as a possible destination for the Ivory Coast international.

And Toure does not want to close the door on any possible transfer, though he admits he is unsure as to what his future will hold.

“We don’t know,” he told RMC when questioned about a move to Les Parisiens. “The most important thing is to continue my job, you do not know what might happen tomorrow.”

“It’s always an objective to play at big clubs and win trophies. The most important thing is to continue to learn. You never close the door to a big club.”

Toure’s failure to replicate his performances from the 2013-14 campaign has contributed to a slow start to the season by Manuel Pellegrini’s side, with the Blues eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after just 11 matches.

But the former Barcelona star believes that post-World Cup tiredness is to blame after a number of his team-mates joined him at the tournament in Brazil during the summer.

“Everything does not happen as it should. It’s hard, physical work last year did not help us.

“When we look at all the players of the squad, almost everyone have been played the World Cup, so physically, it leaves traces.”

Toure also moved to defend club-mate Samir Nasri after the former Arsenal midfielder blamed Didier Deschamps and his France team-mates for his international retirement.

The 27-year-old made himself unavailable for future Les Bleus matches after being left out of his country’s World Cup squad, but Toure does not believe he should be victimised for his decision.

“Samir is very nice, I take him as my brother. He has a great love for his country.

“He spoke a little awkwardly, he apologised to the fans. This is a very nice guy and a very positive person.”

Yaya Toure will NOT be sold, says Pellegrini

The Ivorian has come under scrutiny this season but his manager insists he remains an important member of the squad at the Etihad Stadium


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says the Premier League champions have no intention of selling midfielder Yaya Toure, despite the Cote d’Ivoire international’s declining performances.

The 31-year-old has come under fire for his displays this season after reports that he was unhappy during the summer over the club’s treatment of him in the aftermath of his brother Ibrahim’s death.

The criticism intensified after Toure was sent off in the club’s 2-1 defeat to CSKA Moscow in midweek, but City’s Chilean boss insists he is still a key player at the Etihad Stadium.

Pellegrini told reporters: “There are a lot of reports Yaya will be sold. Nowhere in this club are we talking about that. Yaya is very important.”

The City manager also confirmed that Vincent Kompany will miss Saturday’s trip to QPR with a calf problem, and could be ruled out of next week’s international fixtures too.

Belgium take on Iceland in a friendly on Wednesday before hosting Wales in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday, but the central defender may be absent despite Pellegrini admitting the injury is not overly serious.

“He has a calf problem. It is not serious but I don’t know if he will be ready for his international squad.”

And though Kompany will join David Silva and Aleksander Kolarov on the sidelines at Loftus Road, Pellegrini is hopeful of being able to welcome Frank Lampard back to the fold.

The former Chelsea midfielder was stretchered off against Tottenham on October 18, but his manager is hopeful he can return and find the form that saw him score four goals in three games shortly before his lay-off.

“He is just coming back from injury. I hope he will return the same way he was before his injury,” he added.

Yaya Toure apologises to Manchester City fans for red card

The Ivorian redeemed an error for CSKA Moscow’s first goal with a superb free-kick but cast himself as the villain again by pushing over Roman Eremenko in the second half


Yaya Toure has apologised to Manchester City supporters for getting sent off during Wednesday’s shock home defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Two goals from Seydou Doumbia gave the Russians their first even win on English soil, while Fernandinho received two bookings in the second half and Toure was shown a straight red for petulantly pushing over Roman Eremenko.

The result sends winless City to the bottom of Group E and leaves them on the brink of another humiliating Champions League exit with matches against Bayern Munich and Roma still to come. 

Boos greeted the final whistle at the Etihad Stadium, and after the match a remorseful Toure took to Twitter to express his sorrow for his actions.

City fans – I am sorry for my red card. I feel it is important to apologise for this.

— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) November 5, 2014

Fernandinho also made his regret known, apologising to his team-mates and supporters for his two yellow cards and underwhelming overall display.

Felling very sad for the result and for my sent off tonight. I want to apologise with my team mates and fans for the red card. Sorry.

— Fernandinho (@fernaoficial) November 5, 2014

Toure’s apology comes just a day after he received racist abuse on the social networking site within hours of re-activating his account, prompting an investigation from Greater Manchester Police.