Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Saturday that ‘it would be very disappointing’ if low-scoring Chelsea won the Premier League.
Pellegrini claimed ‘attractive football … should be rewarded’ and took a thinly veiled swipe at Jose Mourinho’s tendency to go use defensive tactics, particularly in crucial matches, arguing ‘big teams must play as big teams’.
Chelsea have scored 65 goals in 33 Premier League matches this season, while City (84 in 31) and Liverpool (90 in 33) have been far more successful in front of goal.
Ahead of his team’s trip to Anfield on Sunday, Pellegrini declared that City or Liverpool would be more deserving title winners.
“It would be very disappointing if either of the two teams who scored the most goals don’t win the league. For football, for the fans, for everyone it would be disappointing,” the Chilean manager said.
“I think that the most attractive football, the more goals you can score, should be rewarded.
“I’m not saying it’s not important to defend very well because, of course, football is about attacking and defending. But big teams must play as big teams.”
City will arrive at Anfield in third place in the Premier League table, two points adrift of second-placed Chelsea, while leaders Liverpool are another two points ahead, although Pellegrini’s team have two games in hand on their title rivals.
The match has been billed as potentially season-defining but City will have another six games to play after they take on Liverpool, and Pellegrini played down the importance of the encounter.
“A draw would open the door for Chelsea, of course,” Pellegrini said.
“After that, if Chelsea and Liverpool draw when they play, that would be important for us. We have to play for 21 more points and that’s a lot of points and that’s why I refuse to say this game is defining.
“I will accept we can be champions only when the mathematics say we can win the title.”
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