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Pellegrini: Hart 'the Best Goalkeeper in England'
Guardian, December 30th, 2013 6:30AM

TAGS:  england

Manuel Pellegrini hailed Joe Hart as the “the best goalkeeper in England” following Manchester City’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at the Etihad Arena on Saturday. Hart, who recently sat on the bench as the City coach favored Romanian keeper Costel Pantilimon for seven Premier League games, earned the Man-of-the-Match award for his shot-stopping, as the normally free-scoring City edged a game that Palace was determined not to lose thanks to Edin Dzeko’s 67th-minute strike.

After the game, Pellegrini argued that Hart had been revitalized by his decision to bench the England No. 1 as he struggled to find his form. "Maybe he would not say it, but he agreed with me," the Chilean said.

Meanwhile, City defender Vincent Kompany said the atmosphere at the Etihad  "was like walking on eggshells," due to Palace’s defensive tactics. "You were worried what was going to happen on the break: was someone going to slip up?" The Belgium and City captain went on to praise Hart for thwarting Palace’s counterattacking efforts. "It was undeniable Joe pulled off a great game," he said. "But sometimes it's not the amount of saves you make; it's about doing the right save at the right moment."

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