Pellegrini: Man City's season not a failure

Pellegrini: Man City's season not a failure
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Published April 27th, 2015 - 16:22 GMT via

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Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini insisted with admirable defiance that this season has not represented a failure for Manchester City after an unconvincing 3-2 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, but only time will tell whether it is a view shared by his employers.

Inevitably, given the lacklustre nature of his team's title defence and their three cup campaigns, Pellegrini's future is the subject of much debate, with every Pep Guardiola utterance or Jürgen Klopp resignation examined in minute detail for clues as to whether they might be the next manager of the world's wealthiest football club.

But Pellegrini clearly believes that his efforts over nearly two years in charge warrant him continuing into the third and final year of his contract at the Etihad and, equally clearly, feels the media have been unfair in their analysis of his team's efforts - which are likely to see City trail Chelsea by double digits in points by the season's end.

"I understand that for the media the only thing this team must do is to win everything, every championship, every game, because the other teams are very weak, they don't have good players, they don't have money," said Pellegrini sarcastically. "But I understand that it is not a good season.

"I think the players are trying to win the next game, trying to finish as near the top of the table as we can. We are trying also to be next year in the Champions League. I appreciate that you think the only team that must win the title is City."

The shoddy defending by Pellegrini's side that gifted goals to Tom Cleverley and Carlos Sanchez, after Sergio Aguero and Aleksandar Kolarov had put them two up, was symptomatic of many of City's problems. It required a dramatic last-minute winner from Fernandinho to clinch victory and keep Villa mired in the relegation pack.

Southampton's desire for European qualification was exemplified by Toby Alderweireld, who played with a broken bone in his shoulder in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

He left the field proud of the performance but frustrated by the result as Saints twice took the lead through Graziano Pelle, only to be pegged back by Erik Lamela and then Nacer Chadli.

Adam Lallana is refusing to give up on Champions League qualification for Liverpool despite their 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion, which put them further off the pace of the top four. "We'll dust ourselves down, go to Hull [tomorrow] and try to get three points to put as much pressure on the teams above us as possible," Lallana said.

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