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Pellegrini: We are not outsiders to qualify



City’s UEFA Champions League were dealt a serious blow in Moscow as Manuel Pellegrini’s men surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2.

At half-time, the picture was one of infinite optimism as Sergio Aguero and James Milner goals had put the visiting side into a commanding position at an eerily deserted Arena Khimki.

However, a goal from Seydou Doumbia and a debatable 86th minute penalty, which was dispatched by Bebras Natcho, mean that the wait for a first win in the competition goes on into the second half of Group E fixtures.

Pellegrini was bullish after the game when asked if he thought his team were now outsiders to qualify and stressed that there is still an opportunity to progress to the knockout rounds.

“We have nine points left to play for,” he said after full-time, “after we’ve played for those nine points we’ll see how many we have.

“Of course we can still qualify.

“Football is 95 minutes it’s not just the first half. We played very well in the first half, we scored two goals and had many more clear chances to score.

“CSKA are a good team and if you give them space, they can be very dangerous.”

The City boss admitted that he was disappointed with the way his side seemed to lose control of the match after the restart.

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Although his players were clearly furious with the referee’s decision to award a penalty for a foul by Aleksandar Kolarov on Doumbia, Pellegrini refused to lay the blame at the official’s door.

“In the second half we didn’t have the pace and we didn’t move the ball like we did in the first half,” he told reporters.

“We didn’t make any chances to score and finally they had the penalty that the referee whistled for. Maybe there was an excess of trust in the second half.  

“Everyone must know that football is 95 minutes, we are playing away against a difficult team and they drew the game in the end but I don’t think that has a relation with the Champions League.”

City v CSKA

The night will belong to us when City face CSKA Moscow on Wednesday 5 November in the UEFA Champions League.

CSKA Moscow fans are not permitted to attend this fixture so we will have the entire Etihad Stadium available for home supporters only.  

To celebrate this rare opportunity to pack both ends of the stadium with home supporters, fans who buy one ticket will receive an additional ticket completely free. This offer applies to fans who have already bought tickets for this match, and those looking to buy a ticket now.

Get yours now here.

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