Barcelona v Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini says City 'must react' and believes Champions League tie can still be won
City must overturn a 2-0 first-leg defeat when they go the Nou Camp
Monday 10 March 2014
Manchester City may have crashed to Wigan in the FA Cup, but manager Manuel Pellegrini believes they can still topple Barcelona this week.
City face a monumental challenge at the Nou Camp on Wednesday as they bid to reach the Champions League quarter-finals by overturning a 2-0 deficit against the Spanish champions.
They will hardly travel in the best of moods, having been instantly brought back to earth following their Capital One Cup success by old adversaries Wigan.
The Latics repeated last year's shock FA Cup final victory over City by securing an equally unlikely 2-1 win in their quarter-final clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Pellegrini called for his side to immediately refocus and keep the club in the hunt for more silverware this season.
The Chilean said: "I think we all work together, we all have a responsibility to win.
"We finished one trophy and we won that. Now we have to continue playing the Champions League and Premier League.
"We have a lot of things to fight for until the end of the season.
"First we must try to win in Barcelona and then continue to try to reach the top of the table with the three games we have in hand.
"We must react. We still have a possibility. We will try to do a very good game and we will see what happens against Barcelona.
"Winning always gives you confidence but maybe a game like this can bring a reaction from the team. It could be positive."
City failed to respond to the high-energy and fully-committed approach Wigan took to the game.
They fell behind to a Jordi Gomez penalty in the 27th minute after the erratic Martin Demichelis brought down Marc-Antoine Fortune and James Perch doubled Wigan's lead early in the second half.
A triple substitution sparked City into life in the final half-hour and they pulled one back with a low Samir Nasri strike after 68 minutes.
They went on to lay siege to the Wigan goal but they found no way through.
Edin Dzeko, who had earlier hit the post, headed wide and was denied what seemed a certain goal by a remarkable Emmerson Boyce clearance.
Micah Richards also went close and Sergio Aguero tested Scott Carson twice.
Pellegrini felt his side's efforts deserved more but accepted it was not to be.
He said: "The three changes changed the character of the team and that's why, after you lose the game, I think it is difficult to say you are unlucky.
"But I think we at least to deserved the draw as we had three or four chances to score, but it was too late."
On the positive side for City, top scorer Aguero lasted the duration in his second game back after a hamstring injury and should be fit to continue in midweek.
Pellegrini said: "He is now in shape to play the 90 minutes. We needed him and he played the 90 minutes.
"It doesn't have any relation to the game against Barcelona."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Which player sells the most shirts in the Premier League?
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Chelsea's best XI of the season so far: Petr Cech has been better than Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Jesus Navas are the three best attacking midfielders in Europe in 2015
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans