Manuel Pellegrini still believes his side can progress to the Capital One Cup final despite losing the semi-final first leg 2-1 against Everton.
Romelu Lukaku secured the win for the Toffees with a later header, just two minutes after Jesus Navas had cancelled out Ramiro Funes Mori’s first-half opener at Goodison Park.
With the second leg to be played at the Etihad in just under three weeks, Pellegrini maintains his side can progress if they showcase their usual home form.
“We have only played 90 minutes,” the Chilean manager said.
“It is important not to concede another goal. We can progress if we play the way we normally play at home.
“We were playing better – but Lukaku is a dangerous player.”
Lukaku was one of Everton’s key performers on the night, and his goal meant he now has 12 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions.
In contrast, City’s goal scorer on the night, Navas, scored his first goal for the side since September 2014, which was against Sheffield Wednesday in the same competition.
Another bright point for the Citizens was that the game marked another 90 minutes for the ever-improving Sergio Aguero as he searches to regain full fitness.
There are 90 min left and we’ve got to turn it around. With your support in the home leg, we can make it to the finals. C’mon, City!
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) January 6, 2016
Nevertheless Pellegrini was left frustrated at the end of the night, as he believed several referring decisions cost the Etihad side a first-leg advantage.
“The first goal was offside. He [Lukaku] was in front of Willy Caballero and it is unbelievable that the linesman did not see,” the 62-year-old City manager said.
“If you aggregate the clear penalty that we should have had for Jesus Navas – both of these are clear observations that can change the score.
“It was a foul, it was clear – he took the legs of Jesus. It was a clear penalty.
“We didn’t deserve to lose in the first half – they scored a goal that was absolutely offside and then we were denied a clear penalty.”
Image courtesy of MCFC via YouTube, with thanks.