After loss to Bayern Munich and draw against Roma, Manchester City boss insists his side defeat CSKA Moscow tonight or risk being dumped out
Moscow: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has urged his side to think of every game as a final in order to make it to the next stage of the Champions League on the eve of their clash against CSKA Moscow today.
Man City players train in Moscow yesterday. Pic/AFP
City badly need victories in both their matches with CSKA, having been beaten by Bayern Munich and drawn at home to Roma in their opening Group E fixtures. "We have two games against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League that we need to win both of them," said Pellegrini.
"The best way is to treat every game as a final, try to win it and then win the next final," added Pellegrini, whose side will travel to Russia on the back of a 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur where striker Sergio Aguero scored all of their goals.
Tonight's match will be played in an empty stadium as European football governing body UEFA have sanctioned CSKA because of racist behaviour by their fans — something City have direct experience of after Yaya Toure was on the receiving end of verbal abuse when the clubs met last season.
But Pellegrini does not believe this will give the reigning EPL champions, still struggling to make their mark on Europe's elite club competition, an advantage in the Russian capital.
"I think that affects football. I don't think it is the best way to play, not only for our team but for the Russian team," Pellegrini said.
"I think football is about the fans. It is the most important thing because they give an atmosphere at the stadium which is different to an empty stadium.
"It will be a different experience but that cannot affect our performance," the Chilean added.
Defender Eliaquim Mangala was expected to travel despite a thigh injury but midfielder Samir Nasri was due to stay behind while recovering from groin surgery.