Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

We'll Have Final Word, Says Pelle ; Chelsea May Have Stormed the Etihad but City Manager Backs His Men to Prevail in Title Race, Writes Mike Keegan

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

We'll Have Final Word, Says Pelle ; Chelsea May Have Stormed the Etihad but City Manager Backs His Men to Prevail in Title Race, Writes Mike Keegan

Article excerpt

TWO-NIL to the king of the mind games - but Manuel Pellegrini does not believe Jose Mourinho's Chelsea have delivered a huge psychological blow to City's title aspirations.

The Blues boss reckons his men are made of stern stuff and will soon bounce back from their first home league defeat of the season.

"I remember we won all the other big games," he said.

"It is the first time we lost a big game (and it was) with five or six less players. This defeat will not have any psychological problems in our team.

"We will see in the next game the way we continue."

Advantage Pellegrini is also confident that the loss will not be a mortal blow.

"For Chelsea it was a decisive game, not for us," he added.

"If we won, we were six points ahead of them. Now we are two points behind Arsenal. We have 39 points to play for."

Many pointed to the injury suffered by midfielder Fernandinho as key to the London side's storming of the fortress with Martin Demichelis, shifted from defence, struggling to stem the flow of the well-organised visitors' many counter attacks.

Pellegrini agreed - but was reluctant to criticise the Argentinian and claimed that it was a game his injury-hit side could have won.

"I think that of course he (Fernandinho) is a very important player for us but not only Fernandinho you must add Sami Nasri, Sergio Agueri and Javi Garcia," he said. "James Milner was not 100 per cent. Alvaro Negredo was not 100 per cent.

"That was too much of an advantage for a team as important as Chelsea."

He revealed Fernandinho could be out for as long as a month and added that his options were limited.

"Jack Rodwell is coming from an injury for one month," he said.

"James Milner just worked with us the last day and is not 100 per cent.

"The only option I had was Demichelis. That is why Fernandinho's injury was so important, I had to change the defence and the midfield. …

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