Pellegrini: We go to Anfield to win.
- 07 April 2014 07:26
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC
With the trio of favourites picking up maximum points this weekend, the eyes of the football world are beginning to fix their gaze firmly on next Sunday’s huge Anfield showdown between City and Liverpool – touted by many as a title decider. Of course, we all know there’s room for a few more twists and turns yet despite the result next week, in what will undoubtedly be a thrilling run-in…
If you were concerned that the Blues might be tempted to approach the showdown with the league leaders with an air of caution, think again! Manuel Pellegrini has clearly stated that going for anything but a win against the high-flying reds would be a mistake.
““Maybe I am wrong, but I always think in the same way as a manager – if you play to draw you will lose,” offers the Blues boss in the Telegraph.
““So we are going to play to win. Of course after the game if we couldn’t win the game and we draw it’s a good result, but we are not going to play against Liverpool thinking we must draw. We don’t know how to play in that way.””
On the attacking prowess of Brendan Roger’s side, Ian Wimrow’s piece continues to quote the manager:
““I am very happy for football. For attractive football, creative football,”
““That’s why I think Liverpool have a lot of merits in the year they are doing so far, because they are an attractive team and they always score. Maybe I also am wrong, but I prefer important teams, big teams, than those that just want to win 1-0 and give all the possession of the ball to the other team, score one goal and always defend during 90 minutes.””.
Having just conceded two Premier League goals in the last seven outings, Manuel draws heart from the fact that his charges have addresses the defensive problems that at one point threatened to derail the Blues’ bid for a second Premier League crown in three seasons:
“"We tried from the beginning of the season to play attractive football and be an offensive and creative team. But on the other side maybe at the beginning we conceded too many goals,” the manager is quoted in Amy Lawrence’s Guardian piece.
“”In the second half [of the season] we improved in defence and are at the moment a very balanced team."”
The City and England number one was quickly off his line to help calm an angered Yaya Toure in the closing stages of the game.
The Ivorian talisman was clearly aggrieved by a late challenge from the Saint’s Jason Ward-Prowse which threatened to spill over and see Yaya on the receiving end of a second yellow card, thus taking him out of next weekend’s crunch match with Liverpool.
“Sensing City’s driving force had lost it and was in danger of inviting a second yellow card, Hart dashed in to march Toure away from the melee.
“Hart still needed help from Samir Nasri to quell Toure’s rage as he risked a dismissal and one-match ban that would have ranked as the most senseless of the season, with Liverpool at Anfield next up.
The piece then goes on to quote from Blues hero Pablo Zabaleta:
“”There was a bad challenge (by Ward-Prowse).
“”The players wanted to keep him (Toure) away because sometimes you can get angry. That’s when it’s important to have team-mates who can tell him to calm down.
“There was a danger he could have got a second yellow. It would have been a huge loss if we had to be without him for a game like Liverpool.’”
There’ll be exclusive player build-up to next weekend’s game on the pages of mcfc.co.uk throughout the week, so keep checking back for more…