Pellegrini backs Toure after Carragher tirade


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has defended Yaya Toure after the Ivorian was subjected to strong criticism from former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

Toure led a belated rally from City in the 2-1 defeat to Premier League title rivals Arsenal on Monday, netting a sumptuous left-footed strike in the process.

But, having helped City to control the action during the opening half hour, the midfielder's influence on the contest waned considerably after Theo Walcott's brilliant 33rd-minute opener, until the frantic conclusion.

In his role as a Sky Sports pundit, Carragher lambasted Toure's showing as "unbelievably selfish" and claimed watching him score "wound me up".

Pellegrini offered a more measured assessment of Toure's performance, pointing out that he was involved in most of City's good work during the match.

"When you lose a game, the losers are always doing bad things," the Chilean told a media conference ahead of City's Boxing Day match with Sunderland.

"The first shot Arsenal had on our goal was on 33 minutes and they scored.

"We dominated the game - maybe we were not aggressive but we had a couple of great chances and Yaya was involved in all of that.

"I never criticise individual performances."

Pellegrini was again forced to field questions over his long-term future at City, following confirmation over the weekend that Pep Guardiola would leave Bayern Munich at the end of this season.

Guardiola has regularly been linked with taking the reins at City and, on Wednesday, German publication Kicker became the latest outlet to claim the former Barcelona coach would be in position at the Etihad Stadium for the start of the 2016-17 campaign.

"Speculation [regarding Guardiola] started last year," Pellegrini added. "It is part of your profession.

"For me the only important thing is trying to work and trying to win.

"The players know exactly the way I think. I don't have worries about my future."