Manuel Pellegrini saw his team suffer a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship outfit Middlesbrough at the Etihad stadium. Manchester City have already suffered a couple of defeats in front of their supporters this season.
The latest comes just days after they were defeated 2-0 by an Arsenal team who are now looking like being capable of playing against the top teams. The 2-0 defeat against Middlesbrough means that City will shift their focus to just the Premier League and the Champions League. Pellegrini said that Middlesbrough deserve this victory because they played much better than his team.
City created a few opportunities in the first half, but witnessed themselves going down to a goal from Chelsea loan star Patrick Bamford in the second half.
From then on, Middlesbrough had numerous opportunities to extend their lead as City constantly exposed themselves in the search for an equaliser. Missing players like Yaya Touré definitely had an impact in the search for an equaliser and City came the closest with Frank Lampard hitting the post in the second half. Middlesbrough continued to create opportunities on the counter-attack and they finally sealed the victory through Kike in injury time. Pellegrini refused to blame the recent midweek trip to Abu Dhabi as a reason for this poor performance.
“Before they scored the first goal, we had five or six clear chances. They didn’t have one chance. But we conceded a very easy goal, and the game changed. We were nervous.They are a team who work well; that’s why they are second in the Championship. They had opportunities to score more goals and deserved to go through. Now we must continue in the Premier League and Champions League. I wanted to continue in all the competitions but now we must focus on the Premier League and Champions League,” said Pellegrini.