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Manchester City now under pressure to deliver EPL title

Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City will be under increased pressure  to win the Premier League after Champions League exit

Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City will be under increased pressure to win the Premier League after Champions League exit

Manchester City exited the Champions League against Barcelona on Wednesday night, losing 2-1 in the second leg of the last-16 of the competition and losing 4-1 on aggregate.

The Citizens are also out of the FA up, after suffering a shock 2-1 quarter-final home defeat to holders Wigan last weekend.

That means that the Premier League trophy is the last available trophy to the men from Manchester.

Manuel Pellegrini’s charges are currently nine points behind league leaders Chelsea, with three games in hand on the Blues.

Failure

City have of course already claimed the Capital One Cup, beating Sunderland 3-1 in the final at the start of the month, but if that is the only piece of silverware the Citizens win this season I do believe that this season will be regarded as a failure by many.

Pressure

City and their boss Manuel Pellegrini are now under major pressure to deliver the Premier League title. Chelsea are in pole position, as Jose Mourinho’s team already have the points in the bag and a big lead.

City now has to hold their nerve and win those three games in-hand. If they do then they will be in a better position due to their superior goal difference.

Nearly-man

City’s 3-1 Capital One Cup victory over Sunderland handed Pellegrini is first piece of silverware in European football.

That is incredible considering how highly-rated a coach he is. There is a simple reason for his lack of silverware. The Chilean has managed teams who were not expected to achieve anything, Real Madrid aside of course.

The veteran boss was the inspiration behind Villarreal’s meteoritic rise in Spanish and European football. Pellegrini turned the Yellow Submarine into a team capable of battling it out with the best in Spain.

However, in the end his team fell short of winning La Liga. Pellegrini also guided Villarreal to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006, where they narrowly lost out to Arsenal. Pellegrini also turned Malaga into a force in Spanish football.

More importantly the Chilean guided Malaga to within minutes of a place in semi-finals of the same competition, only to lose to finalists Dortmund in the dying seconds of their second leg tie.

During his one campaign with Real Madrid, Pellegrini’s side came second to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in La Liga and in the process amassed the most points ever gained by any La Liga runners-up.

It seems that Manuel Pellegrini’s story is that of a nearly-man wherever he has gone. The Chilean will be hoping that that familiar theme does not follow him to Manchester City.

Although if City fails to win the Premier League title his job will probably not be on the line, with the Citizens hierarchy seemingly having faith in the former-Villarreal boss.

Money

People always talk about money when Manchester City are mentioned, but it is a subject that is hard to ignore when it comes to the Citizens. City have spent an absolute fortune assembling their squad over the past seasons.

If they do not win the Premier League this season, then there will again be questions asked about City’s spending, or wasting of money if you will. A classic example of how to spent money well is at European champions Bayern Munich.

The Bavarian giants may have brought a few players through their youth ranks, but they have also spent a lot of money assembling their all-conquering team. The likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer do not come cheap.

The European champions should be an example to City of how to successfully build a team. Bayern have not done it overnight. They have had their fair share of disappointments in recent years, but with shrewd signings and clever management they are now a formidable force in European football.

Second favourites

Not much has changed since the start of the season with regards to Manchester City and their status as one of the favourites to win the Premier League title. City are now second favourites for the title, behind Chelsea at odds of 15/8 to win the title.

There are plenty of games to go for City to claim the title, if they do not however then questions will be asked amongst the clubs hierarchy about why they have not be successful this season.

Will Manchester City’s season be considered unsuccessful if they fail to win the title?

Thu 13 March, 2014
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