Sunday 17 December 2017

Pellegrini admits City took their eyes off ball at Burnley

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini accepts minds may have wandered to Barcelona as his side slipped up at Burnley.

City suffered another highly damaging result in their faltering Premier League title defence as they slumped to a surprise 1-0 loss at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Their chances of overhauling Chelsea at the top of the table now look slim and their hopes of rescuing the season could now come down to Wednesday's daunting Champions League trip to the Nou Camp.

City must overturn a 2-1 deficit to reach the quarter-finals - a considerable task and a huge occasion that Pellegrini concedes may have been weighing on his players.

He said: "It's always the case before a big game that maybe the minds are not completely on the game.

"But we tried to think just about this game. Maybe we did it well before the first leg when we played Newcastle, but here I don't know why we couldn't create the space because we had a lot of creative players and we had three or four chances. I don't think we deserved to lose the game."

Since pulling level with Chelsea on New Year's Day, City have managed to win just three of nine league games.

It is a worrying sequence and speculation over Pellegrini's future in the job is growing.

He said: "Of course we are not doing well. You can see that from the amount of points we have dropped.

"There are different reasons how we can improve and we must try and find the solution."

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