Manchester City vs Manchester United: Manuel Pellegrini walks out of interview as top four strain shows

Rashford struck in the first-half at the Etihad to narrow the bridge between the Manchester clubs to a solitary point

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The Independent Football

Manuel Pellegrini walked out of a television interview after Manchester City's derby defeat to rivals Manchester United.

Teenager Marcus Rashford struck in the first-half at the Etihad to narrow the bridge between the two Manchester clubs to just a solitary point in the race to finish in the top four. 

The pressure has been piled onto the Chilean’s shoulders since it was announced that Pep Guardiola, the Bayern Munich head coach, will replace him at the end of the season.

City have been drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the Champions League but face the very real threat of missing out on European football next year - or worse, being dumped into the Europa League.

Pellegrini has been entrusted with leaving the Eastlands club in good shape, ready for the Catalonian’s arrival in June, but now appear to be out of the title race with leaders Leicester City opening a 15 point advantage with a 1-0 success against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

When pressed by Sky Sports to discuss the reasons for his side’s recent slump in fortunes, he walked away from camera, before saying: “I’m talking about the game and nothing more.”

After a return of just four points from a possible 18 in the Premier League, Pellegrini is now faced with a fight to ensure he secures continental football ready for Guardiola’s appointment this summer.

When it was put to him that he may have lost the dressing room, the 62-year-old replied: “I don’t think I’ve lost any control. The attitude of the team today reflects they are all involved.

“It is not the best way to finish the season. Maybe one thing can be linked to the other but I am happy with the attitude. The players are focused.”