Attack impresses, defense depresses Pellegrini hopes for stability
It is a well-known secret that defense is Manchester City’s Achilles’ heel. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits his team’s weakness after picking up a 4-2 victory over Champions League minnows Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday. The Spanish boss claims his team’s defense was “very, very bad”, especially the way the Eastlands allowed two goals at Etihad Stadium.
Sergio Aguero drew first blood with a goal from the spot-kick. Plzen’s Tomas Horava equalized just before half-time. Samir Nasri provided the lead near the hour-mark, but the scoreboard was levelled only minutes later from Stanislav Tecl. Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko scored late goals to provide their team with a stronger route to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Pellegrini fielded the defense of his second-team, yet the former Real Madrid boss was unhappy with the performance of his men. Pellegrini rued over the disorder in his back four. Nonetheless, Pellegrini was exuberant for his attack, who can now boast about scoring 41 goals in 10 games at Etihad Stadium.
Pellegrini insists his team will now aim to score goals without allowing their adversaries to pick up easy goal.
“We can attack and we can score four goals without giving so many chances that we did today in defending,” Pellegrini said. “One of the most important things to be an attacking team is to know how to defend well. Today we did very, very bad.
“I am satisfied because we won the game 4-2 but I think we didn’t play well, we didn’t play with the intensity and the pace.”
Manchester City’s new defense comprised of Joleon Lescott, Martin Demichelis, Micah Richards and Aleksandar Kolarov. Pellegrini refused to point fingers at the players he was most disappointed in, but hoped that the whole team would improve defensively as a unit.
“I am not talking about just Richards and Lescott, I am talking about the whole team,” Pellegrini added. “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.”
Manchester City will now prepare for their Sunday game against Swansea City, which will be at the Etihad Stadium once again. A plethora of goals is expected from Manchester City since Swansea City’s defense has been unable to properly settle this season.
Sergio Aguero will be the man to watch out for on Sunday. The striker has been in red-hot form since the beginning of the season. Manchester City are currently fourth placed, two points away from second and third place Liverpool and Chelsea.