Football

Dzeko: No late drama, please

Edin Dzeko has declared that Manchester City will push for a win against West Ham on Sunday despite needing only a point to win the Premier League title.

The Bosnia striker scored a brace in an impressive 4-0 victory over Aston Villa yesterday morning (Singapore time), and called on his teammates to avoid a repeat of their tense and dramatic last-gasp title victory in 2012.

"Now we rest and take it more than seriously in the last game," said Dzeko.

"We experienced two years ago when everyone thought we would win easily against QPR. What happened, happened. Now we will go into the game (against West Ham) differently and try to finish it early."

City defender Pablo Zabaleta also remained wary of allowing any repeat of the heart-stopping manner in which they claimed the title two seasons ago.

That win, City's first top-flight title since 1968, came after Sergio Aguero's dramatic late winner against Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the season.

Zabaleta said that his side must guard against making life difficult for themselves at the Etihad Stadium against the Hammers on Sunday.

"It was a massive step towards taking the title but we still have one game to play," said the 29-year-old right back.

"We know from two years ago, when we beat QPR in the last minute to win the title, just how quickly it can change."

The only realistic way City can lose the title is if they lose to West Ham and Liverpool take three points against Newcastle United.

City have beaten the east London side three times this season, 3-1 in the league and 9-0 over two legs in the League Cup, but Zabaleta refused to take victory for granted against a side who have secured their Premier League status for next season.

"We know West Ham are safe but they have very good players and can score at set-pieces," he said.

"It will be tough and we cannot relax. We have a great chance and you can see all the fans are excited. Hopefully, on Sunday, we can celebrate the title."

Yaya Toure's stunning strike in injury time - the Ivory Coast midfielder went on a buccaneering 50-metre run before scoring to take him to 20 in the Premier League - took City's goal tally to 100 in the league and Dzeko said that highlights their desire to play "aggressive and attacking football".

City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "It's an amazing amount of goals. I am very happy for Yaya because maybe when we started the season he had a lot of criticism because he didn't have enough power to arrive to the goal.

"Yaya is the absolute complete midfielder in the way he plays.

"He scores goals, he marks, he is the complete midfielder. He plays with the freedom to do what he thinks is best." 
- Wire Services.