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Still a long way to go yet, insists Pellegrini

Saturday's 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium cut the deficit to Jose Mourinho's men to five points, after Chelsea had been surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Burnley.

The reigning champions' thumping win represented their first success on home soil in four attempts and provided further evidence of a welcome return to form following a 4-1 victory at Stoke City in their last outing.

City came from behind late in the season to claim each of their two Premier League titles to date, and Pellegrini remains optimistic of enjoying further success this term.

He told BBC Sport: "I'm very pleased because we returned to being a scoring team here at home and also because we didn't concede goals.

"Of course if the other teams drop points it's better for us, especially Chelsea because we don't depend on just what we can do.

"All the other teams are behind us in the table, so it doesn't matter what they do if we continue winning. If we want to continue fighting for the title, we need Chelsea to drop more points, but we have to play [for] another 36 points more, so that's a lot of time."

Having seen his side open up a five-goal lead inside 53 minutes, Pellegrini was afforded the luxury of resting Sergio Aguero and David Silva for the final half-hour against Newcastle, with a UEFA Champions League tie against Barcelona only three days away.

"I think it's very important to arrive to that game winning," Pellegrini added.

"That's why for me it was so important during the week just to focus our minds on this game [against Newcastle] and now we have three days to prepare [for] the game against Barcelona."