Manuel Pellegrini believes nothing has changed in Manchester City’s bid to land the Premier League title despite their 3-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.
Goals from Adam Lallana, James Milner and Roberto Firmino gained Liverpool some revenge for the Capital One Cup final defeat to the same opponents on Sunday and left City 10 points behind leaders Leicester, albeit with a match in hand.
But with fellow title-rivals Arsenal and Tottenham also losing Pellegrini believes little has changed, even if Manchester United have caught them on 47 points after their victory over Watford.
“It means the Premier League continues exactly the same all season. Not one team makes the difference,” he said.
“I am not thinking about the title and not thinking about not to qualify for the Champions League.
“It is important to think in the next game (at home to Aston Villa) we need to win at home because we lost the last three in the Premier League.
“The most important thing is to recover our performance in the Premier League, (put in) the performance we showed in the last two games in the Champions League and the Capital One Cup, and try to win as many points as we can.”
1500 – James Milner's goal vs Man City was Liverpool's 1500th in the Premier League. Landmark.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 2, 2016
Pellegrini blamed fatigue for his side’s sluggish display and even claimed, despite City spending millions more than their opponents building their squad, Liverpool had more options to change things after Sunday’s final.
“We didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down at half-time but from the beginning I saw our team was not fresh,” he added.
“We had not recovered from the last week with the Champions League game with the travel from Ukraine and the game on Sunday.
“Liverpool had more energy, they recovered the ball at high pace so we didn’t have any chances to score.
“They could make more changes. We didn’t have any midfielders to change without Yaya Toure (out with a foot problem).
“We had just defenders or one striker to make the change, so I think that was the difference in the game.”