Pellegrini: Missing quartet handed Chelsea advantage
- 03 February 2014 22:53
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Manuel Pellegrini believes that his side were unfortunate not to register at least a point against Chelsea.
Pellegrini’s side went down to the Chilean’s first home Premier League defeat but the City boss believes that an injury list including Fernandinho, Samir Nasri, Javi Garcia and Sergio Aguero contributed heavily to the narrow loss.
“Well I think that of course Fernandinho is an important player for us,” the 60-year old reflected.
“Not only him, you have to add Aguero, Nasri and Javi Garcia – Milner was not 100% so he couldn’t start, Alvaro Negredo wasn’t 100% either.
“That’s too much of an advantage for an important team like Chelsea.
“We lost today against a good team who played well and I thought we deserved at least a draw but they had the luck to win it.
“They scored a beautiful goal, not an easy goal, he hit it from a long way out with the outside of his foot but before their goal we had clear chances to score, so I don’t there was a problem with the way we played.”
Pellegrini defended his selection of Martin Demichelis in central midfield under questioning from the assembled journalists in the post-match press conference.
The City boss believes that the Argentine played well but hinted that he had no chance but to field him there – due to the condition of the rest of his squad.
“Jack Rodwell is coming back from injury, Milner’s just worked with us properly for the last day. I think that the only option I had was Demichelis in that position,” Pellegrini explained.
“That’s why it was so important that Fernandinho was missing – it forced us to change our defence and our midfield."
“Fernandinho has a muscle injury, we’ll see tomorrow how long he’ll be out for. I think it’ll be a matter of three or four weeks.
“This game was not a problem of the midfielders. I didn’t make the other two substitutions because I didn’t think we could change the game by doing that.
“For Chelsea it was an essential game. It was important because we could have been six points ahead but we’re just two points behind Arsenal in second.”
Pellegrini also added that he doesn’t think the defeat will have any negative mental impact on his players going into their next few games.
“I remember that we won all of the other big games,” he stated.
“This is the first time we’ve lost a big game with five or six less players – maybe this defeat will have no psychological effect on our players.
“We’ll see in the next game how we continue.”
Pellegrini’s counterpart Jose Mourinho was delighted with how his side performed and declared that Chelsea had just beaten the best team in the league.
“We lost once at home to West Brom, we lost two points against West Ham, we lost at Stoke, we lost at Newcastle – we are a team in evolution but this is the kind of performance that helps the team to grow up a lot,” Mourinho asserted.
“We beat City twice but they are the best team, in the first game we won because Nando [Torres] was bright, was clever, waiting for that backpass."
“Today we won because we were the better team – I’m not saying we’re better than them, I’m not saying that.
“We just played better on the night. I think we deserved it.”