Rested development: Manchester City’s Joe Hart back as England’s no.1 after break, says Manuel Pellegrini

By Alan Ross

Manuel Pellegrini  has described Joe Hart as the best goalkeeper in England after the Manchester City shotstopper helped the club beat Liverpool 2-1 on Boxing Day and make up ground on top spot.

Hart was dropped by Pellegrini from the starting line-up in November after a number of errors but impressed in the Liverpool game, making several saves to help City home.

The Chilean, who this week revealed how tough he finds it to spend Christmas away from his family in South America, praised Hart for his recent run of performances.

“He’s worked very hard for the last six weeks and now he puts in a normal performance and showed he’s the best goalkeeper in England,” he said.

“I’m very pleased with Joe, not only for his performance today, but in all of the games he’s played in the last month he’s played very well.

“I thought it was good for Joe to have a rest – he was not in his best moment he’s played all of the games for three years – sometimes it’s good to have a rest.”

The win moved City into second in the table, one point behind leaders Arsenal and with Crystal Palace next up at the Etihad tomorrow the blue side of Manchester will be hoping for another three points.

Defender Joleon Lescott, who may make his 150th appearance for the Sky Blues in the match, says City will not be arrogant when they take on the lowly London side.

“It’s all about recovering and going with a positive and professional attitude against Crystal Palace,” he told City’s website.

“We are confident but not arrogant. We believe that we can be a match for any team if we apply ourselves in the right way and fortunately we have been doing that at home.

“Make no mistake, Palace will be a very strong test. They’re coming off the back of a great win at Aston Villa. Their form has picked up since Tony Pulis has come in. He’s an experienced and organised manager so we know we’re going to be in for a game.” 

Image courtesy of MCFC Official via YouTube, with thanks.

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