Pellegrini pleased to draw level

City are now on the same number of points as Jose Mourinho’s side after David Silva put them ahead with a deflected shot that looped over the spirited Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.

The Spaniard also converted Aleksandar Kolarov’s square pass to double City’s lead before Yaya Toure sealed the win with nine minutes to go.

And while at times the City appeared to struggle to break down their opponents, Pellegrini never thought the result was in doubt.??

“I was always confident (we would win),” Pellegrini said.

“We had the patience to try to create the space. We did not allow them to have not one counter attack.

“I was absolutely sure we were going to score and in the end we scored three goals against a difficult team that defended very well.”

Pellegrini and his players came in for criticism at the start of the season for being unable to keep pace with Chelsea but after a run of six straight league wins City are now on level with Blues, who play Stoke on Monday.

Pellegrini has been happy to see Toure return to form, but also had praise for other platers after the win.

“Yaya was very criticised at the beginning of the season but it was not only Yaya (who) was not putting in his best performance,” the Chilean added.

“I said then, when our midfielders like Yaya, Fernandinho, (Samir) Nasri and Silva return to their normal performance, the team will play again the way we normally do.

“I think that all of them this moment are in a very good moment, especially Fernandinho, Yaya and Nasri. They are playing regular and David is returning from a long injury with his knee the way he knows how to play.”

“Maybe nobody believed one or two months ago we can continue in Champions League and be involved in the fight for the title but we always trust in what we do and the way we work every day and that is why I am so happy the squad demonstrates why we won the title last year.

“You do not win the title in December but it is a key month. If you want to be involved and have a chance to win the title, you must be as near as you can be to the lead of the table.”