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Pablo Zabaleta: We have not been clinical enough this season


Midfielder Pablo Zabaleta admits it will be hard for Manchester City to retain the Premier League title this season.

Chelsea opened a seven-point gap at the top of the table after City's disappointing home draw against Hull City and the Argentine says the Citizens have to improve in the final third if they are to make a comeback.

"At the moment Chelsea are being more consistent than us," Zabaleta is quoted as saying by The Daily Star.

"We have been struggling a bit with injuries to the important players. If you compare this season with last season, we scored 20 more goals last season than this season at this period, and I think we conceded two goals less this season.

"But last season we were more clinical and scoring goals in different ways. This season it seems it has been a bit hard and we have not been clinical enough.

"At the moment I think that is the big difference between last season and this season, not just because this team is relaxed or anything like that."

Midfielder Yaya Toure will finally return from international duties and the 30-year-old says the Citizens missed the midfielder during his absence.

"Yaya is one of the best players in our team," Zabaleta explained.

"He is a player who many times has control of the ball in the middle, especially switching it from one side to the other, and scoring goals from outside the box.

"A player with his power and pace running forward always creates something, and he is one of the creative players we miss in those moments.

"Sometimes we need him in the middle, but as Pellegrini said, we have won important games without him, and it's not just about one player, it's about the team.

"Of course you always need your best players in their best form to be a better team, and Yaya is one of them."

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