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Pellegrini disappointed with draw at Goodison



Manuel Pellegrini admitted that he was frustrated not to take all three points from the clash with Everton on Merseyside.

Steven Naismith cancelled out Fernandinho’s opener and City were forced to settle for a draw after a strong first half display in which they dominated their opponents and created a string of chances but were unable to find the back of the net.

While the boss was expecting a sticky encounter with the Toffees, he believed that his side created enough opportunities to put the game to bed in the opening 45 minutes.

Declared Pellegrini: “We are not happy with a point because we had three or four clear chances in the first 25 minutes which could have decided the game. But we didn’t finish well so after that, the second half was closer and Everton improved in their performance, and scored from a set piece.

“If you had said at the beginning of the game we would draw against Everton away, then maybe it is not a bad result, but because we had so many chances we are not happy with the draw.”

He added: “I expected a very tough game because they are a very good team with very good players. They improved a lot in the second half so if you ask me about the second half I think a draw is normal, but they had their first chance in the 43rd minute and before that we had a lot of chances to score.”

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Everton’s equaliser came from a free kick just minutes after Fernandinho had broken the deadlock, and the manager did say Everton’s strength at set pieces had been identified before the game.

However, he underlined his belief that not converting the chances during the early part of the game allowed Everton a route back into the match.

“We knew before the game that the most dangerous thing from Everton was set pieces because they have tall players and we maybe have less in our team," Pellegrini revealed. “But the referee decided it was a foul and they took advantage of that and scored.

“That’s why the first 25 minutes was so important, if you score one or two then it is another game. We didn’t score the goals so they improved a lot and it was a very close game in the last 25 minutes.”

While Chelsea are now two points ahead at the top of the table, the Chilean argued following the final whistle that no titles are decided in January.

He also said he was pleased with the first half performance, but is always looking for improvement from his players.

“I said before that from now until the end of the season every game will be a final,” he told the press. “It is very difficult but we are not deciding the title in this moment and it is important to improve.

“I think we are playing very well and I am happy with the first 45 minutes. After that we created less but I think we are in the correct position to keep fighting.”

Sergio Aguero made his return from injury from the bench, and while he wasn’t on the scoresheet this time, Manuel admits it was a big boost to see the Argentine back on the pitch again after his long lay off.

Said the boss: “Sergio is a very important player for our team. He only played the last 25 minutes but now he has the whole week to continue working and to return to his normal performance.”

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