Manchester City FC Capital One Cup Winners 2014

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CITY DROP OUT

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini was critical of his players after the 2-1 defeat against Wigan in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. This defeat has knocked the team out of the competition, while also threatening to dismantle the season that promised so much only a few weeks ago. After winning the Capital One cup, it looked like City were heading to become the first English team to win the quadruple. There were in the Champions League last 16 stage, while they had promising positions in the Premier league and FA Cup as well.

However, things have turned sour since the 2-0 first leg defeat against Barcelona. They are on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League while this latest defeat against Wigan raises more questions than answers. The club could be left only with the Premier league to fight for towards the end of the season if they do not overcome the first leg deficit on Wednesday night. Wigan were completely dominant in this match and they have beaten City for the second consecutive meeting in the FA Cup.

Pellegrini said that his players were to lackadaisical in the first half and it allowed Wigan to take a commanding lead before the hour mark. Even though City tried to come back in the second half, it was not enough.

“I think it’s the worst first half we’ve had in the year because we didn’t have the pace to play against a team that is in a good moment. They won five games in a row so we knew before the match we are going to play a difficult team, maybe we thought that was not going to be so difficult and when we react it was too late. We knew exactly how Wigan play; it’s not a tactical problem, it was a pace problem, a tempo problem,” said the Chilean.

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MIND GAMES

Chelsea boss José Mourinho has once again started mind games by saying that he would rather be in the position of Manuel Pellegrini rather than the Chelsea boss. This is because he says that Chelsea’s position in the Premier league is false and that only City can lose the title now. Chelsea managed to extend their lead in the table after a 3-1 win over Fulham. This coupled with Arsenal’s loss against Stoke City meant that Chelsea now have a four-point advantage in the table. However, Manchester City can overtake them by winning the two matches they have in hand.
Due to the commitments in the League Cup, City have had two matches postponed, although one was due to weather. If they win the two matches in hand – against Sunderland and Manchester United – they will be able to go top of the table on goal difference. They have a 12 goal advantage over Chelsea, which will be hard to recover with only 10 matches remaining. Mourinho has constantly downplayed Chelsea’s title hopes this campaign. He says that the club can be considered as title challengers only from next season.
Mourinho watched City win the first trophy of the season as they lifted the League Cup by beating Sunderland at the new Wembley.
“I prefer to have the destiny in my hands, and only City have destiny in their hands. If I win every game until the end of the season, all 10 – which we won’t – maybe we are not champions. If they (City) win all 12 games they have, they are champions. They have their destiny in their hands. There’s nothing wrong with Samuel. I just felt in this kind of match – away from home, against normally defensive teams, aggressive defenders – I thought to go with Fernando (Torres),” said Mourinho.

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AGUERO PRAISED

The manager of Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini, has lauded Sergio Aguero for the way he performed in his comeback game against Blackburn Rovers yesterday. The 25 years old player didn’t start the game, but, he came on as a substitute in the latter half and found the net once to help his team increase the margin of victory. City eventually won the match by 5-0.

Aguero was sent onto the pitch with 20 odd minutes remaining in the match and he looked completely comfortable while being out there. There was fluency in his movement and he seemed to be in the same kind of rhythm that he had shown in the first half of the season.

It’s great news for City especially with some difficult weeks coming up. The Sky Blues have to play a couple of important cup games in the next 10 days or so and then, they will take on top teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the league.

Talking to the reporters in the press conference after the match against Blackburn Rovers, Pellegrini said, “The important thing for me is the time that Sergio spent out there. There was no clumsiness in his play and he scored too which would boost his confidence.”

“There are some tough matches coming up. So, having Sergio back fit is fantastic for us.”

However, apart from Aguero, a couple of other City players also performed brilliantly in that game against Blackburn. Those two players were Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo. Both of them struck twice.

Four out of the five goals in the match were scored in the second half and it shows that the Rovers did not give City that many chances in the initial parts of the game. However, as the game went on, the visitors fell apart.

 

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Joe Hart would benefit from his rest spell

Manuel Pellegrini is still convinced that footballer Joe Hart would profit from his spell out of Man City team. Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, dropped the goalkeeper of England this month following his prolonged inconsistent form in which he made some high profile mistakes.

Still, in spite of missing previous 2 English Premier League games, England manager Roy Hodgson still has faith in Joe Hart and Roy was also impressed with Joe in their friendly loss to Germany. After that, there were speculations that the twenty six year old might come back in Manchester City’s home match against Tottenham this week.

Last week, before Joe Hart played against Germany, Manuel Pellegrini told a leading sports news channel that at this point of time that maybe Joe Hart needs a rest but they still have a lot of trust in him and he would still a very important player in Man City squad. He added that he is quite sure that this would be a very important thing from him to perform like he did two years ago.

On the other hand, Pantilimon’s selection has finally offered the Romanian goalkeeper given a chance to shine. Before that Pantilimon had featured in just domestic cup matches since joining Manchester City in 2011’s summer. The Man City coach believed that it was fair that the twenty six year old was handed the scope. Manuel Pellegrini told that it was very important for him as a manager; he has 22 players, not 11.