SLICE OF LUCK FAILS TO MASK PELLE FLAWS ; City Have Not Improved in the Champions League This Year - Manuel Pellegrini Has Simply Bought His Way out of Trouble

By spbajko, Simon Bajkowski | Manchester Evening News, December 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

SLICE OF LUCK FAILS TO MASK PELLE FLAWS ; City Have Not Improved in the Champions League This Year - Manuel Pellegrini Has Simply Bought His Way out of Trouble


spbajko, Simon Bajkowski, Manchester Evening News


CITY have finally earned some fortune in the Champions League - a must for any successful team.

Juventus showed why they are top seeds in both games with the Blues, yet fell apart against lesser sides to let Manuel Pellegrini and his men take top spot.

It's a first for the club and goes some way to counter the misfortune of finishing as group runners-up with 15 points two years ago, or drawing Barcelona in consecutive years.

That particular lightning cannot strike for a third time when the draw is made on Monday, and City have earned that.

For all the plaudits that should come their way for comfortably being England's best representatives this season, their approach to European games has not changed.

Back in March, with Pellegrini about to exit his last chance of silverware for the season and facing scrutiny over his future, the coach gave what remains his only extended interviews with British newspapers and outlined what was missing.

"What we did not do was bring in a crack," he said. "I think this team needs a crack, another special player just to give us that sense that we are now at another level."

This summer he bought not one but two of those, spending close to Pounds 100m on Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne. Both players have been crucial in helping City top the group.

In the group stage last season, City put in one good team performance (in Rome) and were bailed out against Bayern Munich by Sergio Aguero. …

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