Pres­sure mounts on Pel­le­grini

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER — When fans sing “you’re get­ting sacked in the morn­ing” it is galling enough for the op­pos­ing manager, but when he is the coach of the cham­pi­ons and they have just been thumped by their derby ri­vals you know there is a big prob­lem.

Manch­ester City boss Manuel Pel­le­grini saw his side blown away 4-2 by Manch­ester United at Old Traf­ford de­spite tak­ing an early lead and hav­ing won the last four der­bies.

They have now lost six of their last eight games and their re­al­is­tic hopes of re­tain­ing the Pre­mier League ti­tle are over with lead­ers Chelsea 12 points ahead of fourth-placed City.

Chilean Pel­le­grini al­ways man­ages to re­tain a calm de­meanour and it worked won­ders when his side stayed cool to snatch the Pre­mier League ti­tle off Liver­pool last year.

This sea­son, though, that same mild­man­nered ap­proach seems com­pletely amiss when hard truths and a good old-fash­ioned rol­lick­ing ap­pear more ap­pro­pri­ate for an aging side who look like they never played to­gether be­fore.

Two-goal Ser­gio Aguero apart, City played noth­ing like one of the most ex­pen­sivelyassem­bled squads on the planet and though some blame lies in the board­room for ques­tion­able re­cruit­ment, Pel­le­grini must also shoul­der re­spon­si­bil­ity.

His com­ments af­ter the derby will hardly fill City fans with con­fi­dence with the cham­pi­ons at risk of drop­ping out of the top four, just as United did last sea­son hav­ing won the ti­tle in Alex Fer­gu­son’s fi­nal cam­paign the term be­fore.

“It is very dif­fi­cult to be in fourth place. We have dif­fi­cult teams in the Pre­mier League,” Pel­le­grini told re­porters.

“We must fight un­til the end of the sea­son. For the club, for me, for the play­ers it is very im­por­tant to be in a po­si­tion for the Cham­pi­ons League. We have six games more to try to do it. We had been in sec­ond place all sea­son.”

If he wants to look at re­cent his­tory to see what fate might be­fall him at the end of the sea­son, Pel­le­grini need only look back at what hap­pened to for­mer City boss Roberto Mancini.

The Ital­ian won the ti­tle in 2012 but was axed at the end of the fol­low­ing sea­son hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond and not pro­gressed in the Cham­pi­ons League.

Pel­le­grini did get City out of the group stage in Europe this year but they were out­classed by Barcelona in the last 16 and their sea­son has plum­meted since, to such a de­gree that he is in a worse po­si­tion than Mancini be­fore the Ital­ian was axed.

His back four was par­tic­u­larly woe­ful against United with Ash­ley Young get­ting two at­tempts at scor­ing from close range for the first and se­rial aerial threat Marouane Fel­laini hav­ing a free header for the sec­ond.

Juan Mata was af­forded the free­dom of Old Traf­ford for the third and Chris Smalling was to­tally un­marked to head in the fourth.

The fact cap­tain and cen­tre back Vin­cent Kom­pany went off at half­time hardly mat­tered as the Bel­gian has not been him­self

Manch­ester United striker Wayne rooney cel­e­brates ash­ley Young's goal against Manch­ester City.

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