Manuel Pellegrini praised his Manchester City players for showing the “personality” to come from behind to beat Liverpool.
City extended their 100 percent home record in the Premier League this season with a 2-1 victory but only after they trailed to a Philippe Coutinho goal.
Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo scored for Pellegrini’s team to leave the Chilean happy with the spirit his side showed.
He said: “It was very important especially when we were losing 1-0 to have the personality to go for the game. I am very happy with the response because it is not easy when you face such a difficult team.”
Pellegrini was particularly pleased that City stopped Luis Suarez, who had netted 10 goals in December, from scoring.
“I think we defended very well,” he said. “They did very well, especially against Suarez. He is a great striker. He is in his best moment so it was very difficult for our team not to lose [him for] one second in the whole match.”
Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who had been dropped, was brought back into the Premier League side for Saturday’s 4-2 win against Fulham and made a string of fine saves.
And Pellegrini believes normal service has been restored after the England international made a series of errors earlier in the season.
He added: “Now it was his normal performance. He is the best goalkeeper in England. I am very pleased with Joe, not only today but I think all the games he played in the last month he did very well.”
Pellegrini felt it was a vital victory to stop Liverpool pulling away from City in the standings.
He explained: “They were top of the table before the match so if they win, they would be four points on top of our team. It was very important.”