Man City boss Pellegrini admits season hinges on Chelsea showdown after Arsenal defeat
Mnuel Pellgrini has admitted that Manchester City’s hopes of retaining their title hinge on a showdown at Chelsea later this month after losing 0-2 at home to Arsenal Sunday.
Pellgrini pinpointed the January 31 trip to Stamford Bridge as a win-or-bust championship decider for his team.
The defeat at the hands of the Gunners has left second-placed City five points adrift of leaders Chelsea who won 5-0 at Swansea on Saturday.
A 24th minute penalty from Santi Cazorla and an Olivier Giroud goal after 67 minutes hoisted the Gunners into fifth place in the Premier League – while Pellegrini was left looking anxiously at the upcoming Chelsea game.
He said: “We still have to play them and it will be a very decisive game. We will try to win that game to close that gap again.
“We must close the gap to two points.”
Speaking about Sunday’s game, he said “Arsenal defended well and we ran and worked – but we couldn’t create chances.”
Arsenal have won their last three games and manager Arsene Wenger is hoping for the improvement to continue.
The Frenchman said that the ETIHAD victory has increased the amount of belief in his squad.
“We now have injured players back that were out for a long time and, as well, we know it is a very important period,’’ he said.
“But time will tell. What is for sure is that it increases the amount of belief and confidence.
“We know this is a very important period and the confidence of the team is high with players in fine form.