Menuel Pellegrini: remains defiant

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists there is still "plenty to play for" in the Champions League despite his side being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Roma.


Beaten by Bayern Munich in their Group E opener, City were on course for three priceless points when Sergio Aguero gave them a fourth-minute lead from the penalty spot at the Etihad Stadium.

But Francesco Totti became the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history with his delightful flick over Joe Hart midway through the first half, and City were unable to breach a well-organised Roma defence over the remainder of the tie.

City, with only a point, now face two crucial clashes with rock-bottom CSKA Moscow, and Pellegrini vowed to ensure his side will fight for every one of the 12 points still on offer in the group stage.

Asked in his post-match press conference how difficult it would now be to qualify, Pellegrini said: "We don't know. It depends on the way we play the next game.

"We have just one point from six but also we are just three points behind Roma, so there is a lot of things (to play for). We hope next game in Russia we can win and we will see what happens against Bayern Munich.

"We have 12 more points to fight (for) and we will fight to the end to try and qualify."

Maicon rattled the crossbar moments after Aguero's opener, and Joe Hart was also kept busy as Roma's attacking intent appeared to catch the home side off guard.

But Pellegrini added: "It was not a surprise for me. Roma are a team in form with great players. They made it difficult for us, it was a difficult game but I thought we could win it in the last 20 minutes.

"A point playing at home is never good but we played against a very strong team in a very good moment (of form).

"We didn't play well, especially in the first half. We improved in the second half but I think the draw was the real (right) thing for both teams.

"We must continue fighting for the next 12 points and we will see which teams qualify for the next round."

Pellegrini refused to single out any players for blame for the equaliser, which Totti finished with a superb flick over Hart after being afforded plenty of space to latch onto a precise flick from Radja Nainggolan.

Pellegrini said: "I think that when the other team scores a goal it is not just a problem of one or two players. I think that he had too much space in that play.

"Maybe it was an easy goal for them but you must have the quality and the capacity to return to your normal performance.

Today was not our day."

Skysport

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