Pellegrini: Barca were better

Manchester City Coach Manuel Pellegrini had no complaints about bowing out of the Champions League to Barcelona.

The Chilean admitted in a post-match interview that the Catalans were the better side over two legs, losing 2-1 in Manchester and 1-0 in Spain, and rued his team’s performance.

“It’s very difficult to win at Barcelona. In this tie they were superior to my team,” Pellegrini acknowledged, AS reports.

“We faced a great team with great players. They have a plus by having Lionel Messi in their ranks.

“I’m frustrated. We played a serious opponent, which is in great form and has a spectacular Messi. We had a chance in the second half.

“If [Sergio Aguero] scored the penalty then the last 15 minutes wouldn’t have been so tranquil for Barca.

“In the first half, when Messi grabbed the ball, he was dominant. Not only did he elude his opponents but he was a danger on goal and created space for other players and played very good passes. We tried to control him in the best possible way.

“Also, when we had the ball we didn’t know how to use it and played it too fast. In the second half we improved and got the ball closer to Barca’s goal.

“We knew what we had to do. To score twice we had to take risks and wanted to have many players in defence and in attack. It was a risk.

“Joe Hart made good saves. We had some chance to score and a penalty, but that’s how it is. When Kun missed that penalty, it could have been different for the last 20 minutes.”

Pellegrini, formerly of Real Madrid, was also asked for his take on the weekend’s Clasico, but deferred from picking a winner.

“The state of the teams is different from a month-and-a-half ago,” he argued.

“Then Madrid was the best team in the world and Barca was a club in crisis. Things change and Barca arrive, in theory, better.

“It’s hard to make a prediction because both teams have players that can cause damage at any time.”

Tags Manchester City Manuel Pellegrini