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The manager was thrilled that his team continued to press despite being 4-0 up at half-time while he also backed Joe Hart after the goalkeeper was dropped from the first team

Manuel Pellegrini praised Manchester City for maintaining their performance levels over 90 minutes in the 7-0 victory over Norwich City.

City cruised to a 4-0 half-time lead in the Premier League clash courtesy of a Bradley Johnson own goal, as well as efforts from David Silva, Matija Nastasic and Alvaro Negredo.

Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko completed the rout after the break, as pre-match speculation surrounding Joe Hart's eventual omission was quickly forgotten and Pellegrini was pleased that his players did not take their foot off the gas in the second half.

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"I think that the team played really well during the 90 minutes," he told reporters. "Winning 4-0 in the first half - normally, in the second half, most teams stop playing.

"I think the team continued playing exactly the same and that's very important for me. It was important to see the team play the way I want them to play.

"They are very good technical players and when they move the ball quickly, it's very difficult for our team not to score, so we must continue in the same way.

"I think Norwich is a very good team. I didn't expect to score seven goals, but I think the team played to do it so it's great for me."

Pellegrini benched Joe Hart for the game following a string of poor displays as Costel Pantilimon was handed his Premier League debut, but the Chilean believes that the England No.1 will be back to his best in due course.

He continued: "I was not thinking about team selection. My duty is to see which are the best players to play every game. For this game I think Joe needs a rest.

"He has played every game for over two years here and every player can have a bad moment. We will work behind Joe so we can return him to his normal performance as soon as possible."

Meanwhile Norwich boss Chris Hughton was understandably disappointed with his side and claimed that they had let down the travelling support from Norfolk.

"It’s very tough to sit here on the back of that defeat," he said. "Apart from two goals they it was too easy for City to score. The early goals made us nervous and it showed the quality they have.

"You have to make sure you defend well and we weren’t able to do that.

"We all let the club down. We’ve had a support that travelled to Manchester midweek then had to come back up again today, and we’ve let them down.

"I’ve always had confidence in my ability and the ability of the players. I know how a heavy defeat makes everyone feel but we have to bounce back from it. We now have to prove we are a good enough side to get up this league."

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