Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City’s title hopes are still alive despite losing 3-2 to Liverpool in a pulsating game yesterday, which leaves them seven points adrift of the Merseyside club.
Philippe Coutinho pounced on a rare mistake from City captain Vincent Kompany to clinch victory for the Reds on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster during an emotional day.
City recovered well from a horrendous first-half after falling two goals behind when Raheem Stirling and Martin Skrtel put the hosts ahead, before David Silva and a Glen Johnson own-goal restored parity.
And although Liverpool went onto win, Pellegrini believes that his side are still in a strong position despite the title being out of their hands.
“If we win our two games in hand we will be a point behind Liverpool, who still have to play Chelsea. The title does not finish today,” he told the BBC.
“We are still going to fight. A lot of things will happen between now and the end of the season.”
The Chilean’s side made a terrible start as Raheem Stirling beat the offside trap and gave Liverpool the lead after six minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for the Citizens as Yaya Toure limped off with a hamstring injury after 15 minutes before Martin Skrtel doubled Liverpool’s lead from a Steven Gerrard corner.
The start of the second-half began brighter for the away side though as substitute James Milner set up David Silva with a goal just short of the hour mark.
And Silva was instrumental in their second just five minutes later, his shot deflecting in off the outstretched leg of Johnson.
It was all in vain however, as a sliced clearance from Kompany allowed Coutinho to claim the winner twelve minutes from time and put the race for the title firmly in their hands.
The only dampener on an otherwise brilliant display was the late sending off of Jordan Henderson in stoppage time.
The title race is still delicately poised but the Blues’ manager admitted if they are to win they may have to do so without the talismanic Toure.
“It’s difficult for Yaya to be in the next game,” he said.
“We will see tomorrow, I don’t know how serious he is injured. I think it will be difficult for him to finish playing this season.”
Meanwhile, captain Kompany took to twitter to echo his manager’s sentiments that City will keep fighting until the end.
That’s football for you. Anyway, getting some treatment done tomorrow, back in training and then we go again. Never give up! #MCFC
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) April 13, 2014
“That’s football for you. Anyway, getting some treatment done tomorrow, back in training and then we go again. Never give up!”
Image courtesy of MCFC, via Youtube, with thanks