Pellegrini: Players not fresh

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini blamed tiredness for his side's below-par performance against Crystal Palace.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 10:21 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Blamed tiredness for display in win over Crystal Palace

Manuel Pellegrini: Blamed tiredness for display in win over Crystal Palace

Pellegrini made six changes to his starting line-up as City laboured to victory over relegation-threatened Palace with Edin Dzeko scoring the all-important winning goal.

The Chilean insists he did not treat the game lightly by making so many changes and reiterated his disappointment at being forced to play two games in 48 hours after their Boxing Day victory over Liverpool.

City struggled to break down Palace for long periods of the game and Pellegrini admits he was frustrated by the away side's defensive tactics.

"Yes, of course I was very concerned," Pellegrini told Sky Sports. "Before the match I said when we finished against Liverpool, 48 hours it is impossible to recover for players.

"We didn't have our team fresh and it is very difficult when just one team want to play and the other just wants to defend so that was the game we saw today. That is not what we are used to do at the Etihad.

"We also had a lot of chances to score but I repeat it is very difficult to attack when the other team is with ten players in their own box. Maybe on some counter attacks and corners they had chances."

Pellegrini also played down fears over Joe Hart's eye injury after he picked up a nasty cut in a challenge with Cameron Jerome.

"Yes, he has a cut in his eye, but he never had any problem [to play on]."

The win moved City to the top of the table for 24 hours at least, but Pellegrini insists the title race will go to the wire.

"I repeat, there are six or seven teams that will continue fighting for the title to the end," added Pellegrini.

"Of the last eight games we have won seven and drawn one and recovered the distance Arsenal had on our team, but we continue next Wednesday [at Swansea] and the second half of the season will be very difficult for all of us."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Gundogan yet to make decision on future

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could yet join Manchester United this summer, according to a report from Germany.

Atleti, Arsenal and Liverpool target Vietto

Villarreal are reportedly attempting to renegotiate Luciano Vietto's contract to ward off interest from Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Sepp Blatter plans US trip for CONCACAF Gold Cup

Sepp Blatter is planning to visit the United States to attend next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

Mail Box

James Milner: Jose's Perfect Player?

Probably. But presumably he would not swap one bench for another. We have mails on over-hyped players, Arsenal enthusiasm, UEFA, FIFA and naked dudes...

Francis Is Coq Of The North (London)

There is more praise for Mesut Ozil, but it's Francis Coquelin who gets the big love in the Mails. Plus Lazio, Wilshere swears (who cares?) and an over-capped England...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company