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Manuel Pellegrini: Willy Caballero ‘deserved his moment’

28 February 2016

Manuel Pellegrini was delighted for Willy Caballero after the goalkeeper’s penalty heroics helped Manchester City to Capital One Cup success.

Caballero played every minute en route to the Final, and kept the jersey at Wembley ahead of number one Joe Hart. Pellegrini insisted his selection was never in doubt, and the manager’s faith was justified as the Argentinian stopper saved three penalties in the shoot-out.

“I am very happy for Willy [Caballero] because I think he deserved his moment,” said Pellegrini, who watched his side prevail 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

“I prefer to lose a title than to lose my words, so there was no chance he would not play, Willy is a very good goalkeeper. He didn’t have one save to make in the first 90 minutes, and made one very good save in extra-time.

“In the penalties, he never made a guess. He waited for the players and that’s why he saved lots of penalties. I would have preferred to win the game before, but I am glad Willy is the hero.”

The Capital One Cup is the first of three trophies still on offer to City in the Chilean’s last season at the Etihad, and is proud of the club’s efforts this term.

“I am very happy – not because it’s my final season – I’m very happy for a lot of things, very happy for the performance of the team,” Pellegrini continued.

“It’s important to continue trusting what we are doing, and winning this title will give us a lot of trust. We have to continue playing and working the way we did in this Final.

“It was a tough decision [to rest players in the FA Cup loss to Chelsea] but it was very important to keep the players fresh as I felt we were improving. We have players coming back now, we're not going to give up and we will fight until the end.”

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