After Manchester City beat Norwich City 7-0 on Saturday, Manuel Pellegrini defended his decision to drop Joe Hart, saying he believed Hart needed a rest.
Costel Pantilimon started ahead of the England goalkeeper, but was hardly tested as City annihilated Norwich. Pantilimon also played in the mid-week Capital One Cup win against Newcastle.
Hart has been under enormous pressure, after a string of errors in recent matches, most notably in City's defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
"It was not easy to take this decision. Last time I was in doubt before the internationals but I thought that moment it was important to trust in Joe because the England team also needed him.
"At this moment we need a change. We are all behind him and try to recover him as soon as we can.
"I think Joe is a very important player, he is a great goalkeeper but everyone can have a bad moment in their career. He has it at this moment and I am sure he will improve with a bit of a rest.
"It was a really good performance. The team played really well during the 90 minutes, not only the first half.
"Normally when winning 4-0 at half-time, in the second half a team finish or stop. But the team continued playing exactly the same and that's very important for me."