‘We were amazing,’ says Edin Dzeko

Bosnian scored first of two after just 45 seconds at Old Trafford as City moved second

 Manchester United Manager David Moyes  during the 3-0 defeat to  Manchester United  at Old Trafford. Photograph:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United Manager David Moyes during the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 22:45

Edin Dzeko believes Manchester City’s resounding derby victory over Manchester United will prove “crucial” to the outcome of their Premier League title bid.

The Bosnian striker scored after only 45 seconds at Old Trafford and again in the second half before Yaya Toure rubber-stamped the three points and ensured another chastening night for David Moyes’ troubled United.

City are now only three points behind leaders Chelsea and have two games in hand, but Dzeko believes the Blues, Liverpool and Arsenal will still provide serious competition over the run-in.

“I think before the game we had three games less than Chelsea and this game was very important for us,” he told Sky Sports 1. “Now we are only three points behind and still two games less. This game could be crucial at the end of the season. I think there are four teams that want to win the title and everyone’s got a chance. There are still eight or so games so everything’s to play for.”

United were chasing the game before a minute had been played after Dzeko converted from close range and although City might have pulled further clear before the break, they asserted their authority following the restart.

Dzeko added: “I think it was an amazing game for us from the first to the last minute. We were amazing. We just wanted to start playing our game from the first minute, playing them high and trying to score an early goal, which we did. Then it was all about us. “There could have been another one (an early goal) but we got two in the second half so we have to be happy.”

Visiting manager Manuel Pellegrini echoed Dzeko’s comments and was delighted to emerge from the possible distraction of his second Manchester derby unscathed and in such style.

“It was very important psychologically because it was one of the three big matches we had still to play, and it was against a great team like Manchester United,” he said. “We continue recovering points on Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal so it was very important to keep adding points. We need to win more points than the other teams but you’ll never know how many points you’ll need over the other teams.”

It was a fifth straight clean sheet for City and, while revelling in another goal glut, Pellegrini is enjoying the current cohesion between defence and attack.

He added: “For me it’s very important to keep a clean sheet. It’s important to score goals but today we worked very compactly as a team. We didn’t give them a metre to make moves in our defence and so we were good in both attack and defence.

“I think we are a very balanced team at the moment.”

For the second time in 10 days United boss Moyes found himself explaining the reasons behind a heavy home defeat to a regional rival — Liverpool won 3-0 here - but the Scot stopped short of admitting City are favourites for the title.

He said: “I think we’ve played a very good side and it’s the sort of standard and level we need to try and aspire to get ourselves to at this moment in time. I think we need to play better. We’re needing to come up a couple of levels at the moment and we’re not quite there.

“We didn’t start the game well, in the first 15 minutes they were very good and we’ve conceded a goal in 45 seconds so we’ve not given ourselves a fighting chance. I thought we grew into the first half and got better and until the second goal we had a chance, but on the night we didn’t do well enough.”

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