Pablo Zabaleta insists Manchester City players back goalkeeper Joe Hart

Image: Pablo Zabaleta: Backing for Joe Hart

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta says the whole squad are behind struggling Joe Hart after a difficult week for the goalkeeper.

After the loss to Bayern and a previous league defeat by Aston Villa, it was an important victory for City against a team who had not lost a Premier League game under Roberto Martinez until Saturday. "We needed to win," continued Zabaleta. "I think it was only about winning the game after two defeats in a row. "It was a difficult week for us, especially the game we lost against Bayern Munich. We needed to respond well and I think we did it. "We conceded an early goal and it was important to score two goals in the first half. Then the second half I think we played well."

Soft penalty

Zabaleta was the architect of the third goal when he went down in the box under pressure from Seamus Coleman and referee Jon Moss gave a penalty. Everton were furious, and Zabaleta conceded the decision was a "soft" one. He said: "I think there was small contact. It was maybe a silly penalty. I watched it in the dressing room and maybe it was a little bit soft but I think it was a penalty. "He just pushed me away a little bit. I can understand that Coleman was a little bit disappointed. But I was talking with Leighton Baines after the game and after the penalty and he understood. "And when the referee showed me a yellow card for a foul against him he went to the referee saying I touched the ball and it was no foul. I like that."

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