Hart 'excellent' despite Manchester City defeat – Cousillas

Manuel Pellegrini’s No.2 was impressed by the shot-stopper’s performance at at the Allianz Arena – despite the concession of a last-gasp winner to Jerome Boateng

Manchester City assistant manager Ruben Cousillas paid tribute to goalkeeper Joe Hart despite conceding a late goal in a 1-0 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.

Manuel Pellegrini signed Willy Caballero in July to compete for the England international’s place but Hart impressed against the German side before the winner and Cousillas labelled his efforts “excellent”.

“Joe Hart is a great goalkeeper at international level and has had a great career here at Manchester City,” he told reporters.

“Last year, at the end of the season, he performed well and he has carried that into this season.

[Against Bayern] he was excellent, he didn’t make mistakes and we are happy not only with him but also Willy Caballero, who is also a great goalkeeper so we have that position well covered.”

Cousillas said his team were “sad and frustrated” after conceding the late goal at the Allianz Arena but believes that they are good enough to progress from a group that also includes Roma and CSKA Moscow.

“For sure it is not a good start to lose the first game of a group stage but we still have five games and it is up to us,” he continued.

“We are a strong team at home and we have a strong squad and I am convinced that, despite Roma’s quality and the fact it is a strong group, the tightest group, we can still qualify and get good results in the coming games.”

Yaya Toure returned to the City midfield against Bayern after being absent from a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Saturday and Cousillas is adamant that there are no fitness issues affecting the team’s talisman.

“On Saturday he didn’t play but the reason was that he returned on Friday from the national team,” he explained. “But he was absolutely fit [to face Bayern] and physically, without problems.”

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