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Man City aim to remain top vs. Palace

Five Aside
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Pellegrini 'confident' that Man City will go through in Champions League

Manuel Pellegini is confident that Manchester City will progress to the quarterfinals of the Champions League thanks to Yaya Toure's late strike against Dynamo Kiev.

City already had two away goals and a narrow lead going into the last few minutes of the first leg against Dynamo, but Toure's curling strike from outside the box put Pellegrini's side in the driving seat against a club who have never won a game in England.

"I'm very happy because it is a very good result," Pellegrini told BT Sport.

"It [the tie] is not finished, but playing away and having a two-goal lead is very good. The team played well and had lots of chances. Maybe when it was 2-1 we had moments of doubt, but then we got the third goal.

"Is the tie settled? No, it is important in football to never think it is finished. But to have that third goal gives us more confidence for the second leg."

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The win puts Manchester City on the cusp of reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time ever, although Pellegrini is refusing to take anything for granted.

He told the post-match news conference: "It's important to know we are 90 minutes away but also important to understand we need a good performance at home.

"Each season we improve a little bit more. The last two seasons we qualified for the last 16 and this season we made the important progress of winning the group, which was an improvement from last season.

"We now have the chance to arrive at the next stage and it's important if you can be among the best eight teams in Europe."

The Champions League could now become a major focus for Pellegrini with his side six points off the top of the Premier League table and the Capital One Cup final coming up on Sunday ahead of the second leg against Kiev on March 15.

The Chilean already prioritised Europe ahead of the FA Cup after he fielded a weakened side in last Sunday's fifth round 5-1 defeat at Chelsea. It was a decision that Pellegrini received a lot of criticism for but he said the victory over Kiev showed it was the right choice to rest players with so few options due to injuries.

He said: "I think it's important to take the right decision and think about a lot of things, about why you take this decision.

"But in this case, having just 13 players, it was a key decision to rest the team that day. Unfortunately we could not continue in the FA Cup."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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