London: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was confident of defending their Barclays Premier League title following a 3-0 win over third-placed Southampton.

Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini 

After 13 matches City are now just six points behind league leaders Chelsea, who dropped points on the weekend courtesy their 0-0 draw against Sunderland.

"We can complain about a lot of things from this team this year," Pellegrini said. "But the only thing we cannot complain about in the squad is the spirit, the personality, the character and the ambition to continue winning," Pellegrini was quoted as saying on the Premier League website.

On their title defence the Chilean added that there were still 25 games to go, and fortunes could change in a matter of a few games.

"We have to play 25 games more. It is a lot of points and nobody knows what will happen in the future. In football in one week you can change your position," said the 61-year-old.

Pellegrini was also all praise for former Chelsea star Frank Lampard's performance, who came off the bench to score a goal.

"Frank is not only a top player, he's a great professional and a great person too. He's very happy here in our team. I think that Frank also enjoys the way we play because he makes the difference in the last 25 to 30 metres, so he's very happy here and we're very happy with him," said the former Real Madrid boss.

Before the encounter Southampton were second behind league leaders Chelsea, who have been in scintillating form and are yet to lose a match in the league.

City took the lead in the second half at the 51st minute mark with a strike from Ivorian Yaya Toure from just outside the box before Frank Lampard and Frenchman Gael Clichy tripled the lead for the away side.

For Southampton it was their first defeat since April.