Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that he was responsible for their 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League last 16, reports the Daily Mirror.
The Citizens were roundly beaten by the La Liga giants, and if it wasn’t for goalkeeper Joe Hart being being in tremendous form it could have been a far larger difference in scoreline. In the first leg the Chilean was criticised for playing a 4-4-2 system, and switched to a five man midfield at the Nou Camp. However, this wasn’t enough to turn things around after their 1-2 loss at the Etihad.
Pellegrini said: “I think we lost against a better team, without doubt. Messi is very difficult to contain. Maybe we didn’t play so well in the first-half, but we improved in the second and took risks. We needed to score two goals and we thought it might happen had we scored the penalty. That was a very important moment because we still had 15 minutes more to play.”
Pellegrini added: “It’s not the correct moment to analyse what we should do next season. I always feel responsible for my team. I pick the players and the way we play. The performance has a lot to do with the tactics, but I would do exactly the same again.”
The 61-year-old has come under pressure as his side have failed to keep up with Chelsea in the Premier League title race. They also failed to go far in either the Capital One Cup or the FA Cup earlier in the season. With the club owners wanting to become a big name in European football, getting knocked out of the Champions League early may be even more damaging to the manager than any of this.