Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says that the club "need" Frank Lampard for their title push.

Lampard, 36, headed the decisive goal as City went level with Chelsea, beaten 5-3 at Tottenham, at the top of the table after a 3-2 win over Sunderland.

The ex-Chelsea midfielder, signed on a short-term contract from New York City, was due to head to the USA but extended his deal until the end of the season.

"Frank is very happy to stay here and we need him here," said Pellegrini.

BBC pundit Martin Keown said on Match of the Day: "It is quite remarkable from Frank Lampard. He is fourth now in the Premier League's all-time goalscoring list with 176.

"That moves him ahead of Thierry Henry. What he does is get himself into a position to score goals. He just keeps delivering and I'm sure Chelsea aren't happy seeing him do it."

Fans of Major League Soccer's New York City are "outraged" by Lampard's decision. Fans' group the Third Rail said it "publicly denounced" the move.

He signed for New York after being released by Chelsea in June but could now miss the first three months of the MLS season.

Pellegrini said he understood the frustration of New York's fans but claimed it is in everyone's best interests he stays at City for now.

"For the fans in New York to see Frank play is an amazing thing," he said.

"I hope that he will be there next year. But I think that in this moment the best decision for him, for the club, for New York is to stay here with us."

Lampard's winner against Sunderland came three minutes after he came on as a substitute.

He has now scored five Premier League goals for City in 15 appearances, 12 of which have been as a sub.

"He has been a top player during his whole career, he has an important amount of goals," said Pellegrini.

"He is a very important player for us - that's why we brought him here at the beginning of the season.

"It is very important also now that he will stay with us until the end of the season."

City trailed Chelsea by nine points on 1 November but have since taken 29 points from a possible 33.