Boyata shocked to start
Dedryck Boyata has admitted he was shocked to be included in Man City's starting line up to face Chelsea.
Last Updated: 27/09/10 5:28pm
Manchester City defender Dedryck Boyata has admitted he was shocked to be included in the starting line up to face Chelsea.
The 19-year-old Belgian produced an impressive display as the City defence were able to nullify the attacking threats of the champions and gain a crucial win to rise to fourth in the table.
But it was a 1-0 victory he thought he would be watching at Eastlands.
"I didn't expect to play," he admitted. "Usually in the week we train with the starting XI and I was not in it.
"Then when I glanced up at the board to see who was in the actual side, I only saw the first two letters 'BO' and assumed Jerome Boateng was playing.
"It was only when it was actually read out that I realised it was me. I was quite shocked. I thought 'wow, it's me' but I had to stay focused because I knew how hard this game was going to be."
Boyata is no stranger to the big occasions, having played in the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg win against Manchester United last year, and he was delighted to test his skills against the Blues.
"I have seen those Chelsea guys on TV so often," he added.
"Even yesterday I was talking about them because they are such great players. But I also had a job to do, so I tackled hard when I had to.
"It was great to play against people like (Nicolas) Anelka and (Didier) Drogba and I have to thank the coach for giving me the chance to play against them."
City boss Roberto Mancini's assertion that Chelsea would win the title before the game was met with some surprise but even after his team's shock win, he is still refusing to proclaim them as title contenders.
"We deserved to beat them," said the City boss.
"Our four defenders played like brothers. They were very compact and very strong on the ball against Malouda and Drogba. That is not easy.
"But I don't know if it keeps us in the title race. It is impossible for them to win every game.
"We have another 32 games to go, so must work and improve every week. This win will help us to do that."