City’s run of derby wins is over after a soul-sapping 4-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Despite an excellent start which saw Sergio Aguero put the visitors 1-0 up after eight minutes, the champions were undone by four unanswered goals which were scored in twos, either side of the half-time break.
It was an afternoon to forget for Manuel Pellegrini and his team but he refused to point the finger of blame at referee Mark Clattenburg or his assistants despite Juan Mata appearing to be offside before scoring United's third goal.
“They [United] played very well after the first 20 minutes when we had played very well and had two or three clear chances to score but we didn’t and they started probing,” he reflected.
“The moment they drew level was a special play as it was a big kick from the goalkeeper and the ball rebounded back for Young to score.
...United v City: Pellegrini reaction..
“From the moment they drew level they started to play well and from then the third goal was a pivotal moment as they were two goals ahead and they were playing with a lot of trust.
“I repeat: I don’t want to analyse the referee’s decision – they have to do their work. Maybe the third goal was offside but that was just one thing that happened during this game."
Marouane Fellaini put United ahead with a header before half-time to ensure that Louis Van Gaal’s side went in a the break ahead.
Pellegrini argued that Yaya Toure had done a good job marking the Belgian in the first-half but admitted United had picked off his side in the second half as City chased the game.
The City boss said: “Fellaini’s in a good moment but Yaya marked him very well in the first half – after that we had to take more risks and they had space - finally they won the game.
“I don’t think it was a problem of pace or the United team – it was our own mistakes on at least two goals. We had a lot chances at the start of the game to score another goal.
“It’s not easy to play with more pace and trust when you’re two goals down and they have more of the ball.
“We must continue working – we have six more games to try and to be as high in the table as we can.”