CL: Pellegrini hopes Man City avoids defensive errors in quarters second-leg
Paris: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted his side must not repeat the defensive errors that marred their Champions League quarter-final, first leg with Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday despite the 2-2 draw giving them the edge.
Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne celebrates his goal during their Champions League quarter-final first-leg match against Paris Saint Germain at Parc des Princes in Paris on Wednesday. pic/Getty Images
Away goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho at the Parc des Princes mean City have the upper hand ahead of next Tuesday’s return, but those strikes sandwiched a farcical goal gifted to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and an Adrien Rabiot effort for PSG.
The French champions also saw Ibrahimovic have a penalty saved by Joe Hart early on with the game still goalless, so the evening could have gone far worse for Pellegrini’s men.
“In the first half, we made an important mistake that we cannot continue to do if we want to stay in the competition,” said Pellegrini of the awful mix-up between Hart and Fernando that allowed Ibrahimovic to score.
“The second goal of PSG was offside. It was not a mistake of the defence but of the linesman. But it is important also to keep that mentality because when you receive the goal that we conceded in the last minute of the first half and then you concede a goal that is offside, it is not easy to try to recover, but I think this team has the personality and they believe in what they do.
“They always try to attack and we scored the second goal.” Nevertheless, Pellegrini refused to label his side as the favourites to advance now as City eye a first ever Champions League semi-final and the Chilean also said it was very difficult to answer now if captain Vincent Kompany will be back in time for the second leg in six days.
However, his opposite number Laurent Blanc is left with a selection headache for the return after both David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi picked up bookings that mean they will be suspended for the second leg. Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore will also miss the game due to injury.