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Points mean prizes for City boss Pellegrini

City have been lauded this season for a free-flowing style that has often seen teams reduced to virtual spectators at the Etihad Stadium.

That was not the case on Saturday as a resolute Stoke made life difficult, with Toure's winner not coming until the 70th minute.

The Ivory Coast midfielder finally settled City nerves when he swept home Aleksandar Kolarov's cross from close range to make it 1-0, with Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic unable to stop the ball from rolling over the line.

And Pellegrini insisted that the result was more important than the performance.

"The satisfaction is the same because we have three points," he said. "Teams come here to try and draw; they defend so it is very difficult to score.

"We cannot win by three or four goals every match. It's important to know how to win in both ways.

"If you cannot score, it is important to have a clean sheet and the patience to score.

"We didn't create many chances because Stoke defended very well but we had the patience and finally we scored."