Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini watched his side struggle past Swansea before once again insisting tiredness was to blame for their stuttering performance.
City needed an injury-time winner from youngster Kelechi Iheanacho to secure a 2-1 win after Bafetimbi Gomis’ 89th-minute equaliser had appeared to earned Swansea a share of the spoils.
The win took Pellegrini’s men back to the top of the Premier League, and he says that the points were what mattered, not the performance.
“I think the three points were very important, more than the way we played,” he said.
“I knew it would be difficult because we had three or four players who couldn’t recover from the last game.
“Swansea played very well and it’s not the way we want to win. Now we have a week to recover – we have played too many games with 13 or 14 players. That was our fifth game in 15 days.”
City, who opened the scoring in the first half through former Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, rested Kevin De Bruyne for the game and never really looked like establishing any rhythm without the Belgian.
However, Pellegrini says he was happy to see his side come through such testing circumstances.
“It was important for the team to win this kind of game. I knew this would be difficult because we played in the week.
“I think that we showed the spirit of this team. Knowing we were not doing well, we tried to score and fortunately we did.”
Pellegrini praises Toure
Pellegrini felt Yaya Toure was City’s outstanding player. The Ivorian provided energy and drive throughout and it was his determination that brought about the winner.
Pellegrini said: “I think Yaya was one of the best players in this game. In the first half and the second he was the player who tried to create different things.
“He has just come back in from an injury to his calf and he played the whole game in the Champions League and the whole game today. The goal was a reward.
“But the most important thing is we won. It doesn’t matter if it is Yaya’s goal or Kelechi’s goal.”