Mourinho uses old tactics
offers him the opportunity to add a fourth title medal to his collection — this time at Chelsea’s expense.
While City may sense a missed chance by not beating a Chelsea side without Costa and Fabregas, they were also without their talisman Yaya Toure and with new £25m striker Wilfried Bony yet to be introduced as he is also with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.
So while a win would have been ideal, a point was hardly a catastrophic outcome and Pellegrini will feel that five-point gap is not insurmountable.
Recent history tells us City are confident and comfortable chasing down a lead.
In 2011-2012, Manchester United had an eightpoint advantage over City with six games left that disappeared when they lost at Wigan Athletic, drew at home to Everton and were then defeated in a derby at the Etihad.
The title, of course, was eventually won on goal difference by Sergio Aguero’s injury-time winner against QPR.
Last season Liverpool had a five-point lead at the top with three games left. City were third, nine points behind with two games in hand, before pouncing ruthlessly on Liverpool’s late slips as they lost to Chelsea at Anfield and conceded a three-goal lead in the last 11 minutes at Crystal Palace.
If Bony can hit the ground running and Aguero regains the edge of sharpness that is just eluding him after a month out with a knee injury, City will feel they have the quality to apply pressure to Chelsea.
Chelsea will make an addition of their own in the shape of Fiorentina’s Colombian attacker Juan Cuadrado but the two benches on Saturday suggested City have the stronger squad.
City had the likes of Edin Dzeko, Frank Lampard and Stevan Jovetic to bring on, with Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov as defensive reinforcements.
Chelsea had experience in the shape of keeper Petr Cech, Gary Cahill and Didier Drogba but then it was into youngsters such as Ruben Loftus-cheek, Nathan Ake, Andreas Christensen and Izzy Brown.
Pellegrini and City may have left west London with heads bowed had they lost and been trailing Chelsea by eight points. They will be convinced five points is perfectly manageable.
Fixtures MIAMI — Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao (pictured) have finally met — in person. And now talks might get serious about them meeting in the ring.
The fighters were both sitting courtside, directly across from one another, at a Miami Heat game on Tuesday night.
Mayweather went over to Pacquiao at halftime, the men shook hands and chatted briefly, then exchanged phone numbers.
“He gave his number to me and said we will communicate with each other,” said Pacquiao, adding that he had never before met Mayweather in person.
Asked to clarify if the exchange meant the two would negotiate directly about meeting in the ring, Pacquiao said that was the case.
Mayweather did not respond to a question asked by an AP reporter.
“Not now,” one of his security guards said, as Mayweather fiddled with his phone. A bout between the two would almost certainly be the richest ever in boxing, potentially grossing as much as $250 million. Mayweather’s take alone could exceed $100 million.
Mayweather said last month that he’s ready to make the fight happen on May 2. Asked on Tuesday if that date can finally be the one, Pacquiao — who has said it’s time to give boxing fans what they want — nodded and said “yes.”
When Mayweather said he wanted the May 2 fight to happen, he said Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum had been the main obstacle for it not coming together in the last five years.
Mayweather repeated his old charges about Pacquiao not wanting to do blood tests prior to the fight for it not happening five years ago. He also has no doubt that he could beat Pacquiao.
“I know that he’s not on my level,” Mayweather said last month. Pacquiao has a similar confidence, saying on Twitter recently that “I can easily beat @Floydmayweather, I believe that.”
It appears to be happenstance that Mayweather and Pacquiao were together on Tuesday. — Sapa- AP
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho remonstrates with the referee during their match against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.