Arsenal 1 Manchester City 1: Manuel Pellegrini encouraged by defence's role in away form as trip to Anfield to play Liverpool looms
Pellegrini said he had no concerns over away form as the season nears it's end
Manuel Pellegrini bristled when asked if he was "concerned" about his team’s away form with a potential title decider at Anfield looming. Early this season Manchester City travelled badly, losing at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Sunderland as well as Chelsea but, pointed out their manager: "We had won six and drawn one of the last seven away games before playing Arsenal, to get four points from two difficult away games this week (Arsenal and Manchester United) is good. I am not concerned."
Indeed, Saturday’s draw at the Emirates was City’s 10th game unbeaten on the road in the Premier League, seven of which have been won, in a run dating back to early December. That form, if maintained on visits to Goodison Park and Chelsea's nemesis, Selhurst Park, as well as Anfield, should ensure City take the title.
While it is their attacking players, like goalscorer David Silva, who take the plaudits most weeks Pellegrini said the credit for this away form belonged to his frequently maligned defence.
"I think our defence is in a very good moment. It is not easy to play against Arsenal, they had more possession in the second half, but we are defending very well. They had no chances to score apart from the goal."
That goal, from Mathieu Flamini, was just the second City have conceded away from home in six league matches – and the other was Etienne Capoue’s consolation for Spurs in a 5-1 drubbing.
The Chilean was just as dismissive of old rival Jose Mourinho’s latest piece of attempted kidology, the claim that - despite Chelsea being top of the league when he said it - his team’s title chances were over.
The pair have history, Mourinho having shown his customary disrespect for a fellow manager after replacing Pellegrini at Real Madrid. "I don’t know what he thinks," said Pellegrini. "My way of thinking is four teams have options to win the title. It is very close, we have two games in hand, not six points more, it is not the same, we have to win those games."
Speaking to daily newspaper reporters he told us: "I don’t know if you think managers who play what you call ‘mind games’ are more intelligent. It is not my duty to analyse what Mourinho said, it is your duty. I don’t think managers can give any importance to 'mind games'."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians