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Man City on verge of next step

Manuel Pellegrini believes Manchester City are close to taking a significant step forward in their bid to join Europe's footballing elite.

Last Updated: 05/11/13 at 08:06 Post Comment   

City have won the FA Cup and the Premier League since the 2008 Abu Dhabi-funded takeover that transformed their fortunes and making an impact on the continent is their next objective.

After exiting at the group stage of the Champions League in each of the past two seasons, City are now potentially within 90 minutes of reaching the last 16 for the first time.

Victory over CSKA Moscow in their latest Group D fixture at the Etihad Stadium would be enough to secure their route through if Bayern Munich also avoid an unlikely defeat to minnows Viktoria Plzen.

Pellegrini accepted qualification as a minimum requirement when he took charge of the club in the summer and recognises its importance.

He said: "For Manchester City it would be a really great achievement.

"We all know what happened the last two years - they couldn't get to the round of 16.

"For a club that is trying to grow every day, to go to the next round is very important."

Defender Pablo Zabaleta believes the time is right to make the leap, having witnessed all of the developments over the past five years at first hand.

Zabaleta joined the club the day before Sheikh Mansour took over and began the big spending that accelerated City's development.

The Argentinian said: "We know that the owners been spending much money to try and build a good team and try to have one of the best teams in Europe.

"Sometimes it takes time. We won the FA Cup and the Premier League, (but) the Champions League is a different competition. You play against the best teams in Europe.

"It is time for this club to take a step forward."

City beat CSKA 2-1 when the sides met on a poor surface in the Russian capital a fortnight ago.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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