Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City win proves title credentials

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport at St Mary's Stadium
Man City players celebrate a goal against Southampton
Manchester City have lost twice in the league this season while leaders Chelsea are unbeaten

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says his side's victory at Southampton proves they are capable of challenging Chelsea for the Premier League title.

City climbed to second in the table with a 3-0 win over Southampton and are six points behind the unbeaten Blues.

"We can complain about a lot of things from this team this year," he said.

"But the only thing we cannot complain about in the squad is the spirit, the personality, the character and the ambition to continue winning."

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Pellegrini is confident there is enough time to catch Jose Mourinho's side, who were held to a 0-0 draw away to Sunderland on Saturday.

"We have to play 25 games more. It is a lot of points and nobody knows what will happen in the future," he added.

Sergio Aguero never dives - Manuel Pellegrini

"In football in one week you can change your position. Chelsea are playing very well and we will see what will happen. We must try to concentrate just on [Wednesday's game against] Sunderland."

City have lost twice in the league this season, but were comfortable winners at St Mary's as they leapfrogged Southampton in the table and closed the gap on Chelsea.

Yaya Toure, Frank Lampard and Gael Clichy scored the goals to secure City's triumph, with the visitors making light of Eliaquim Mangala's red card, and also being denied a clear penalty.

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Striker Sergio Aguero was crudely upended in the penalty area by Jose Fonte in the game's first meaningful action, only to be booked for diving, but Pellegrini played down referee Mike Jones' glaring error.

"I saw that it was a penalty but I am not the referee," said Pellegrini.

"Sergio never dived, but the referee is human and everyone makes mistakes.

"Maybe if we had drawn 0-0 we would be talking more about this, but we got the result and that's all that counts."