Manchester City have been extremely poor away from home this season. They were beaten 3-2 by the likes of Cardiff and Aston Villa in the Premier league, but they managed to find a winning form in the 3-1 win over West Ham last weekend.

This victory was extremely crucial for Manuel Pellegrini because they have to take advantage of Manchester United’s dropped points. Their arch rivals could only manage a 1-1 draw with Southampton at home. After managing to hold out United for long periods of the match, Southampton struck with a late equaliser.

This meant that City would extend their advantage over the neighbours in the table. It was certainly not going to be easy given the poor away from, but a lie by manager Pellegrini did the trick according to defender Micah Richards. The 24-year-old England international has revealed that Pellegrini said that the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and United all had won their matches. City were the late kick-off on the night. Even though it was a lie, Richards said that it turned out to be a brilliant piece of reverse psychology because the players knew that they had to win this match.

Striker Sergio Aguero scored two goals while David Silva grabbed the other, as City ran out comfortable winners. “We thought [United] were winning 1-0. The manager said they had won, Arsenal had won and Chelsea had won, and so we had to win. Maybe it was a bit of reverse psychology but it was obviously nice. We just knew we had to win,” said the defender.

The win was also extremely crucial given that City will be making the long trip away from home to play against CSKA Moscow in the Champions league. This is a must win match for the blues after the defeat to Bayern Munich in the previous group match.