Pellegrini’s pride at victory over European champions
- 10 December 2013 22:14
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Manuel Pellegrini believes City’s comeback win over Bayern Munich was evidence of the squad of strength he has at his disposal.
The Chilean made seven changes to the team that drew with Southampton last weekend, perhaps with half an eye on the Arsenal clash coming up on Saturday lunchtime.
At 2-0 down after only 12 minutes, few would have predicted that City’s only disappointment at the final whistle was that they didn’t manage to find the fourth goal which would have seen them top the group.
However, the City boss was more than happy with the 3-2 scoreline and was able to reflect on an important achievement at the Allianz Arena - a victory which ended a run of 10 straight victories in the competition for the reigning champions.
“Someone said yesterday that our priority was the Arsenal game but this was a very important game for us, too,” Pellegrini asserted.
“It was a very important game because we played very badly at the Etihad Stadium against Bayern and we wanted to show that we are a good team.
“Today, winning here and scoring three goals without Kompany, without Nasri, without Sergio, without Negredo, it shows that we have a very good squad, so it’s a very important victory."
“I thought there was the chance for players to demonstrate why they are in the squad. I think the first message for the squad is that they are part of the team.
“We played very bad for the first 16 minutes but when we started keeping the ball, we played the way this team knows how to do and we played the same as Bayern.
“I had some doubts about their goals being offside – I think on one of them their player has come back from an offside position.
“After we scored, when you keep the ball and you have trust and confidence in what you do, all of the players started to play well.”
Pellegrini also admitted that it was tough to resist the temptation to bring Sergio Aguero on in the dying moments in an attempt to top the group.
After James Milner made it 3-2, just one more City goal would have seen them through to the knockout stages with a draw against one of the group runners-up.
“I was tempted to put Sergio on, that’s why I sent him to warm up,” Manuel revealed.
For our team, it was important to get to the top of the group but it wasn’t the most important thing.
“You cannot change everything from one game to another but I know we didn’t have good results away from home, but I don’t think we played so badly in those games.
“We must continue to try and find a style of play and this match will be important for us in that process.”
Pellegrini’s counterpart Pep Guardiola was typically magnanimous in defeat and extended his congratulations to the opposition.
“Congratulations to City, they had a good game,” Guardiola said.
“We started very well and controlled the game but for the first 10-15 minutes but then, they played very well in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half and got back into the game.
“We are happy for qualifying in first place in the group but congratulations to City for this victory and we accept the defeat.”