Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini thought his team put in a dogged display as they recorded a 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero hit the crucial goal in the 16th minute, as City kept pace with Leicester at the top of the Premier League standings while the relegation-threatened Black Cats remain in the drop zone.
“It was a very important three points. It was a tough game, as we supposed beforehand,” Pellegrini said. “All teams fighting relegation play every game as if they are finals. They give all for every ball.
“We defended very well. It’s easy to defend with eight or nine players, though maybe that is not our style. We normally try to attack and score goals.
“That was our third game in a week – we played Everton on Wednesday, Aston Villa on Saturday and now Sunderland on Tuesday. It is impossible with so many injuries to play with the same team and so it is difficult to have a high pace.”
The Chilean boss is now looking ahead to Saturday, when his side will take on league leaders Leicester City in a top-of-the-table clash at the Etihad Stadium.
“We continue to be involved in the title race and now we have to play Leicester at home – the leaders,” he added. “We are in all four competitions and I am very happy with the games we have played this season.”