• Premier League

Pellegrini lied to City players about United score

ESPN staff
October 21, 2013
Micah Richards was relieved after Manchester City recorded their first league away win © AP

Micah Richards has revealed Manuel Pellegrini galvanised his Manchester City players to go out and win at West Ham by lying about Manchester United's result.

City manager Pellegrini told his team that United, who conceded a late equaliser, had beaten Southampton so, when they played in a later kick-off at Upton Park, they had to defeat West Ham to ensure they did not lose ground.

Sergio Aguero netted twice with David Silva adding a third as City went on to record their first Premier League away win under Pellegrini - which actually allowed them to extend their advantage over rivals United to five points.

And defender Richards said: "We thought they were winning 1-0. The manager said they had won, Arsenal had won and Chelsea had won, and so we had to win.

"Maybe it was a bit of reverse psychology but it was obviously nice. United will come strong.

"We just knew we had to win. If we had dropped points, well... We watched Liverpool because they kicked off early."

City now sit fourth, three points behind leaders Arsenal, who beat Norwich 4-1, and Richards believes the Gunners could retain their lead.

He added: "They looked strong and Arsenal just keep winning. I know people always say Arsenal will blow up, but when a team gets that confidence going it's hard to stop and they will do well this season."

But though United have lost Sir Alex Ferguson, who won 13 league titles, Richards is refusing to rule them out of the title race.

"They still have the same players." he said, "They have massive experience and experienced players around who will get them going. So I have no doubts that United will come back stronger from this.

"Let's not kid ourselves, Fergie is probably the best manager ever. He's probably like having a 12th man in your team.

"But [David] Moyes is a great manager. He's done a similar job at Everton, he didn't have that much to spend and he kept them consistently playing well.

"It will be hard for them, losing Fergie, but I think in time, Moyes will get it right because he is a fantastic manager."

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