Pellegrini rues Eibar’s pitch

Manuel Pellegrini admitted that a draw with Eibar on Tuesday was a fair result, albeit if the pitch played its part.

Malaga needed a last gasp equaliser last night from Oguchi Onyewu to secure a first leg 1-1 draw away to Segunda Division side Eibar in the Last 16 of the Copa del Rey.

“The game was played on a pitch that made it very difficult to play football,” complained the Chilean at full-time.

“We had chances from set-pieces to score and so did they and for me the draw was a fair result. We also had a possible penalty shout too for the foul on ‘Seba’, but the result was deserved.

“We found Eibar very tough and the pitch prevented us from demonstrating our technical quality, so I value the positives that my team produced.

“The tie is open. You only have to see what Eibar did in Bilbao [a 1-1 draw eliminated Athletic at San Mames], but to score an away goal is important, so as to play a little more calmly.

“But with this as a draw, the tie is still open. We knew this team and that we would find a very motivated opponent, very focused on the things they had to do and who were looking to get to the next round, just as we are.”

Pellegrini was asked of goalscorer Onyewu’s presence in midfield was as a test for facing Real Madrid at the weekend.

“We have not tried to do any tests for the match against Madrid. We have been focused on trying to beat a team that eliminated Athletic Bilbao.

“We were thinking only of the Cup, especially as the players rested today will surely be playing on Saturday.”

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