MANCHESTER City captain Vincent Kompany savoured “revenge” but manager Manuel Pellegrini talked down that element of his team’s impressive FA Cup victory over Chelsea.
Twelve days after losing to their title rivals at home in the Barclays Premier League, City bounced back to win 2-0 with goals from Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri to reach the quarter-finals.
City may have benefited from having their midweek game against Sunderland postponed, but they still held nothing back ahead of their Champions League clash with Barcelona in a dominant display.
Kompany said: “We wanted revenge today. It’s a big win against a strong team. We love the FA Cup, I think this was a great game for the competition and we’re really happy with the result.”
But Pellegrini took a quite different view of events, saying: “It was not revenge. We didn’t want to lose two games against Chelsea here at home. Today the team played very well in all senses.”
Pellegrini came in for criticism after the previous 1-0 loss to the Londoners, the feeling being he had been tactically outgunned by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. But the Chilean vowed to stick to his methods and that was vindicated as Chelsea struggled to impose themselves in the game. Pellegrini even felt the potentially damaging loss, as well as a goalless draw at Norwich, had jolted his side into action.
He said: “Today we saw again the team that was playing before the last two games. The way we won today is important for the trust of the team, for continuing in the FA Cup. For our team it is a very important competition also, but nothing more.”
The result kept alive City’s challenge in four competitions but Pellegrini is not interested in discussing a potential quadruple. He said: “We never talk about that. We try to fight in all the competitions as far we can.
“It is one step more but we continue now in Champions League.”
Barcelona visit Eastlands for the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.
Pellegrini said: “We will start thinking about Barcelona tomorrow. Today it was very important to have the performance we did.”
Mourinho may have punched a hole in City’s title hopes in their previous meeting, but he conceded the Blues were second best last night.
The Portuguese still found time to criticise referee Phil Dowd, with whom he fell out on a few occasions during the match.
“Was the referee very poor in the second half? Yes,” Mourinho said. “But even with a perfect referee would Chelsea win? No. The second goal was offside but we were never close to being dominant. City played much better than us and they deserved to win.”
City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon did not have a save of note to make as Samuel Eto’o and second-half substitute Fernando Torres both had poor games. And Mourinho, who has admitted he wants to sign a forward in the summer, kept his frustrations regarding his strikeforce to himself. “There are things I cannot say,” Mourinho said when asked about his team’s troubles in front of goal this season.
“There are things I can just think and keep to myself. I don’t want to individualise to speak about my striker or my keeper or my left-back. We are a team, we win, we lose.”
Mourinho was more forthcoming when asked about the furore caused by his pre-match comments regarding Arsene Wenger. The Chelsea boss was accused of over-stepping his mark when he branded the Arsenal manager “a specialist in failure”.
The Portuguese pointed the finger at the media for apparently painting him as “the bad guy”.
“It is your [the media’s] fault,” the former Real Madrid manager said.
“It is always the same guy, the bad guy. One is polite [Wenger] and the other is the bad guy.”