Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has once again sung the praises of Stevan Jovetic as the forward continues his scoring exploits – despite the Blues suffering a defeat to Liverpool.
The Montenegro international bagged both goals for City in a 2-2 draw at the Yankees Stadium last night during their pre-season tour of America.
The fixture against last year’s league runner-ups was another chance for the former Fiorentina player to showcase his talents, which Pellegrini is certain he will do ahead of the new Premier League season.
“I have said before that Stevan is a very important player for us and he proved again what an asset he can be,” he said.
“He had a number of different injuries last season but now he is fully fit. I’m sure if he continues in this way he will show why he is here. If he’s fit all the year he will be a very important player for us.”
The 24-year-old opened the scoring in front of a 50,000 strong crowd on 53 minutes, flicking in a cross from Jesus Navas after the Citizens controlled much of the first-half.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson equalised only five minutes later though before Jovetic repaid his managers faith in him by grabbing his second on 67 minutes.
Raheem Sterling’s late strike meant the game went to penalty kicks however, with City regulars Aleks Kolarov, Navas and Yaya Toure all woefully missing from the spot.
But despite the defeat, Pellegrini was pleased with the performance as he prepares his squad to retain their Premier League title in their opening game against Newcastle on August 17.
“I’m very happy because it was a good, competitive game and useful for both teams,” he said.
“We played well for the first 45 minutes when 0-0 didn’t reflect exactly what happened.
“Liverpool are a very good team, played very well. Last season they had a strong campaign and I’m sure that this year they will be fighting for the title again.”
The defeat means that City are unlikely to make the final of the International Champions Cup in Miami.
The Blues must now beat Olympiacos and hope that AC Milan can beat Liverpool in the next round of games in order to progress.
But the 60-year-old Chilean has his eyes on more prestigious silverware as he looks to improve on their Premier League and League Cup success from last year.
“We are trying to prepare our team the best way possible and I feel we have had a very good pre-season,” he added.
“We are preparing for the Community Shield and the Premier League and that is the most important thing.
“Overall I’m very happy with our preparations.”
Image courtesy of MCFC, via Youtube, with thanks