Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini said captain Vincent Kompany was left out of the champions' 2-0 win against Leicester City on Wednesday night in order to "resfresh the team".
The Chilean made five changes to the side that started Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Liverpool, with Kompany having to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench along with Pablo Zabaleta and Edin Dzeko.
Meanwhile, midfield duo Samir Nasri and Fernandinho were both left out of the squad completely at the City of Manchester Stadium.
However, Pellegrini claimed he was simply resting his influential centre-back - who has come in for heavy criticism in recently after a series of unconvincing defensive displays - following two demanding fixtures against Barcelona and Liverpool in the past week.
“I wanted to refresh the team after the last two games, both mentally and physically, which was important,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports News. “But it was the same with Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri and Fernandinho.”
And Pellegrini said it was just important to get all three points against bottom-of-the-table Leicester having lost their last two matches, a result that keeps City five points behind Chelsea, albeit having played a game more than the Premier League leaders.
“It was a very important win because it was a difficult week after two bad results against Liverpool and Barcelona,” he added.
“Of course to play here at home the most important thing is to win and we now have three points more. It was a good game that we tried to dominate from the beginning. Maybe we scored the second goal too late, but the team was a little bit nervous with the score just 1-0.
“It was very important to score [the first goal just before half-time] as we were dominating, but we did not have any clear chances to score and they also had nine or 10 players behind the ball, so it was difficult to create space, and that is why it was so important to score before half-time for the team.”
Source: Sky Sports