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Pellegrini: We improved after the break

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City may have lost the Community Shield to Arsenal but Manuel Pellegrini was philosophical in defeat.

Pellegrini admitted that his side’s first-half showing fell beneath his lofty expectations but was encouraged by the improvement shown by his players after the break.

His side were 2-0 down after 45 minutes but had good chances to get back into the game before Olivier Giroud’s stunning goal out of nothing around the hour mark.

The City boss was quick to point out that he picked a team composed primarily of those who had taken a full part in pre-season and he revealed that he wasn't overly concerned by any aspect of the game.

“In this match, we had two different phases,” he declared. “In the first half we didn’t play with the pace we showed in pre-season and Arsenal scored two goals because we didn’t defend very well.

“In the second half we played well, we had possession of the ball and had chances to score. 

In the second half, that was more like the team I saw in pre-season.

...Manuel Pellegrini...


“It is always bad to lose but we don’t need to worry – this was all about players engaging in the game rather than the all-round performance.

“Today was not the date to make pressure on me for places, it was one game more of pre-season. We’ve had seven players who only played five days who weren’t in consideration – lots more who only played eight or nine days.

“It’s difficult to be ready in two weeks. We’ll see during the week which players are ready and which are not.

“We were missing key players but I think the lack of pace in the first-half was the main problem.”


The Chilean warned journalists not to read too much into any of his selections for this game and hinted that the XI he fields against Newcastle next Sunday will take on a vastly different appearance.

That starts from the goalkeeper position, right through the 11.

“The goalkeeper is the same as any other position - most of the players who played today played all of pre-season,” he said.

“All the 22 players in the squad are number 1 in all of the positions – we need them all.

“Joe finished last season playing very well – we will see next Sunday who starts against Newcastle.

Pellegrini’s Arsenal counterpart, Arsene Wenger declared: “We had a complete performance in the first-half. In the second half, the second and the third goal got us through – we lost the ball more but we kept the organisation and discipline.”

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