Can't blame FA Cup loss on UAE trip, says Man City manager Pellegrini

London: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini played down the significance of his side's midweek trip to Abu Dhabi after they were humbled 2-0 at home by Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini 

The Premier League champions, FA Cup finalists in two of the past four seasons, were well beaten on Saturday by a Middlesbrough side currently second in the division below them. City decided to take the seven-hour return flight from the Middle East on Friday and the squad were pictured leaving Manchester Airport at 2000 GMT, just 19 hours before kick-off against Middlesbrough.

But Pellegrini refused to accept that the training camp in UAE, where City's super-rich owners are based, had had any bearing on the result. "I don't think so. I don't agree," the Chilean told journalists at the Etihad Stadium.

"You can have your opinion, but I have a different opinion because we had six or seven clear chances to score a goal. I repeat, you can have different reasons for a result. You must analyse the game, but if you think that's the reason, I have a different opinion about that," added Pellegrini.

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