For all of Manchester City’s attacking ability they need to apply themselves in defence if they are to challenge for honours this season, says manager Manuel Pellegrini after his side’s 4-2 Champions League defeat of Czech club Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.
Plzen equalised twice but goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko were enough for the Sky Blues to pull clear and finish second in Group D behind Bayern Munich.
Despite the continued good attacking form of City the Chilean manager declared his discontent with his side’s defending.
“I’m satisfied because we won the game but we didn’t play well, we didn’t play with intensity,” he told City’s website.
“I think that we can attack and we can score four goals without giving the other team so many chances. One of the most important things to be an attacking team is knowing how to defend and I think on that front, we did very bad tonight.
“I am talking about the whole team. I think the whole team must know how to defend. We didn’t have the intensity or the pace today to do it and I am not talking about individual players.”
England goalkeeper Joe Hart returned to the starting line-up for City in place of Romanian Costel Pantilimon but Pellegrini was cagey on whether or not Hart would start in the weekend’s game against Swansea.
“I think that Joe Hart played very well, I didn’t expect him to have to work so much because out of all of the games in all of the competitions, this is the match that the other team had the most chances to score,” he said.
“From Thursday we will start thinking about the next game. Now we are talking about the Premier League but, I repeat, I think Joe had a very good performance.”
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