Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini said having his squad well rested was the key to their 5-0 thrashing of Sunderland at home on Sunday.
Adam Johnson opened the scoring after only nine minutes before Argentinean ace Carlos Tevez doubled their advantage from the penalty spot six minutes later.
Second-half strikes from David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure completed the rout and Mancini said his side had benefitted from a lighter schedule in recent weeks.
“In the last 45 days we’ve played every three days and we’ve had more player injuries. That was the problem,” Mancini said.
“Now all the players have recovered and we play Saturday to Saturday we don’t have a problem.”
“We hope we continue to play very well like today – but sometimes it depends on the opponents.”
“I think we played very well. We started well and pressed from the first minute.”
The win lifted City a point above Chelsea into third place in the English Premier League, and the Italian has his sights set on leapfrogging Arsenal into second.
“It was important for us to win this game after the results on Saturday,” he said.
“We are now third but we have to remember that Chelsea have a game in hand. Can we make second? Yes. But there is still a lot of work ahead.”
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was bitterly disappointed by his team’s capitulation, their sixth loss from seven games, which sees them just eight points clear of the relegation zone with seven games to play.
“My reaction to that can only be total disappointment in the way we played and how we conducted ourselves,” Bruce said.
“We were nowhere near what we’ve been used to this season and we have to make sure we respond in the right manner.”
“We looked very, very disappointing today and as the manager I take responsibility for that.”
“Make no mistake, as from tomorrow we’ll be working very hard on the training ground to try and get us back to where we were.”
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