Manchester: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has refused to blame Raheem Sterling, although the striker missed several scoring chances during a 1-2 defeat to Italian giants Juventus in a Champions League clash on Tuesday evening.
Sterling wasted a chance as early as the second minute and was off target in the second half as well when he only had Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to beat as City went down 1-2 in the Group B game at home despite producing a good performance.
Raheem Sterling (r). Pic/ AFP
It did not help City's cause that skipper Vincent Kompany had to be substituted after picking up a calf injury.
Pellegrini was disappointed with Sterling's inability to score, but was quick to point aout that other factors were responsible as well.
"I expect that when we have chances we must score," the Chilean was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
"The differences are very slight, especially against a strong team like Juventus. But I don't think this result is just because of Raheem."
Pellegrini defended his team's performance, insisting that the English Premier League (EPL) giants gave a good account of themselves at the City of Manchester Stadium here.
"We controlled the game and didn't have many problems but football is like that. It's disappointing, I don't think we deserved to lose," the manager said. "We had the possession. We had better chances and played better than Juventus."
"It was not a tactical problem, Juventus just scored two beautiful goals," he added. "We faced a team that knows how to defend and has plenty of Champions League experience.
"I thought we were the better side."