Manuel Pellegrini refuses to blame individuals after shock defeat for Manchester City against Cardiff City

The Premier League title contenders were beaten 3-2 by the promoted side

Manuel Pellegrini refused to apportion blame after seeing defensive errors condemn his Manchester City side to a shock 3-2 defeat at Premier League newboys Cardiff.

Pellegrini's City reign had got off to the perfect start with a 4-0 thumping of Newcastle, and they looked set to make it two wins out of two when Edin Dzeko's thumping drive put them 1-0 up early in the second half at Cardiff City Stadium.

But their resilient hosts hit back as Aron Gunnarsson tapped in from close range before Campbell lost Pablo Zabaleta twice from corners to head home and spark scenes of delirium in south Wales.

Alvaro Negredo got a goal back for City in stoppage time, and spurned a last-gasp chance to grab an equaliser, but it was not enough as Pellegrini was given a rude awakening.

In addition to Zabaleta's losing of Campbell for the striker's critical double, further scrutiny will fall on Joe Hart.

The England keeper, who gifted a goal to Scotland's James Morrison in last week's international friendly, hesitated as he tried to decide whether to come and claim the first corner, eventually failing to get any contact as the ball flew over him onto Campbell's head.

Joleon Lescott and Javi Garcia, standing in for the injured Vincent Kompany, also endured a torrid afternoon in the centre of defence.

But Pellegrini would not single out any player for criticism, in contrast to his predecessor Roberto Mancini.

He said: "I have not seen the goals yet, but defending set-pieces is the duty of all the team. Not just the goalkeepers and the defenders.

"It does not matter who is guilty with the two corners, conceding from two corners is too much, it is too important an area.

"When we scored the first goal I thought it would be easier for us as we were playing a team defending with 10 players inside their box.

"It was very difficult for us and I think while we did not do a very good match we did not play badly.

"We had the patience to try and score, we did it but it was a pity with the two corners."

His opposite number Malky Mackay was understandably delighted with his side's response after their 2-0 defeat at West Ham on the opening day.

The victory in Cardiff's first Premier League home game will live long in the memory for the Bluebirds faithful, and Mackay heaped praise on Campbell.

The Scot believes performances of this quality mean Campbell could soon be adding to his solitary England cap.

Mackay said: "I thought Fraizer Campbell gave their whole back four problems today.

"He worked hard over the summer and I now think I have a player there who has had an England cap and, over the piece, I think could force his way back into that squad if he keeps his head down and keeps working and playing like that against top, top players."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk