Pellegrini backs Toure ahead of Champions League clash

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has offered his support to midfielder Yaya Toure and insisted that he is close to returning to top form, the Guardian is reporting.

The Ivorian was rested for Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Tottenham ahead of City’s important trip to Russia on Tuesday to take on CSKA Moscow in their third Champions League group match. The game will take place behind closed doors, partly due to the racist abuse aimed at Toure during last season’s clash between the two sides.

Having helped the club to two Premier League titles and two domestic cup wins since arriving in the summer of 2010, Toure has been the target of some criticism this season for some supposedly lacklustre performances, but Pellegrini has rejected that notion and believes that he is on the brink of finding top form once again.

“I don’t agree exactly with the media that Yaya has had a bad season. If you compare to last year, when he had a brilliant performance, maybe he just needs time to get back to that level,’ said the Chilean.

“He is still a very important player for our team, as he showed recently against Aston Villa [in the 2-0 win]. Every game he is playing better, he had a very complicated summer, but he is arriving towards his best performances.”

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