Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Manchester City are showing their true colours, says Samir Nasri

Smiling assassin: Samir Nasri says City are flying
Smiling assassin: Samir Nasri says City are flying

Samir Nasri believes Manchester City are now showing their true class after powering back to form and into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Questions were being asked of City's trophy-winning credentials after they slipped to a third Barclays Premier League defeat of the season at Chelsea just over a week ago.

Nasri feels they have now been answered after a 7-0 hammering of Norwich on Saturday and Tuesday's classy 5-2 demolition of CSKA Moscow.

The defeat of the Russians at the Etihad Stadium means City now cannot be caught in second in Champions League Group D and will play in the knockout stages for the first time in February. After failing to get out of the group in the past two seasons, that marks the next significant step in the club's progression but nobody at Eastlands wants it to end there.

Nasri said: "I am really happy. It was one of the targets for the club at the start of the season to go through in the Champions League, as for the last two seasons we didn't do it and were really disappointed.

"But it's just a start because a club like Manchester City should go really far in the Champions League, and we now have time to progress as a team and be even better, because the last 16 doesn't start until February.

"We were really pleased with the performance. There was some stuff we could have done better as a team to avoid the two goals, but it was a good performance with a lot of chances.

"In two games we have scored 12 goals, so now we focus on Sunderland. Since the start of the season we have struggled a little bit away but now we are starting to show the real face of Manchester City."

Nasri was outstanding as City carried on where they left off against Norwich to demolish the Russian champions. But the main headlines were stolen by hat-trick star Alvaro Negredo and strike partner Sergio Aguero, who took his tally for the season to 13 with another two goals.

City's flow was twice interrupted by goals from Seydou Doumbia, both of which highlighted defensive concerns. But reaching the last 16 was one of the minimum requirements for new manager Manuel Pellegrini this season and Nasri feels the squad have been reinvigorated by the Chilean.

He said: "Everyone played with lots of confidence and we have a manager who tells us what is good and what is bad, so we've moved on as individuals and as a team.

"Everyone in the dressing room is really happy because we did what we wanted at the start of the game, which was to go through, and to qualify with two games left in the group stage."

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