Through eight matches, Manuel Pellegrini's 4-2-2-2 formation has resulted in a league high 20 goals.

Man City’s Pellegrini wants the Quadruple this year


While Paul Lambert debates whether managers like the FA Cup and Newcastle supporters wonder whether their club will ever take domestic cup competitions seriously, Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini isn’t here to discriminate.

He wants to win everything: the FA Cup, League Cup, Premiership and UEFA Champions League.

To be fair, he’s blessed with far more depth than the Villans or Magpies, and Pellegrini has admitted he’s playing for everything right now… the unprecedented quadruple.

Speaking ahead of today’s FA Cup third round replay against Blackburn at the Etihad Stadium, a match in which the Citizens are heavily-favored, Pellegrini said he wants it all. Among his quotes:

“It’s important to have the mentality at least to try (to win all four),” Pellegrini said. “During the season with injuries and the amount games we have to play it’s very difficult, and that’s why no-one’s done it before.

“But you must have the mentality to at least try to do it and that’s what we’re trying to do at this moment.

“It’s a very important cup because it’s a very traditional cup, so the most important thing for this team is to have the mentality to try to win no matter what competition you are playing.”

“I don’t understand the reason why because we’re not playing the Premier League that you don’t want to win. If you make some rotations and the other team is strong they play better and win, then we would be eliminated. So, we will try to do well and try to continue.”

Certainly those supporting clubs dismissive of their cup matches will feel more than a tinge of jealousy and, moreover, how about the fact that City has a more than reasonable chance to do it?

– They sit second in the wide-open Premier League table.

– They’re in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League (though their next date is with Barcelona!)

– They have a 6-0 advantage after one leg of the League Cup semifinal against West Ham, and will likely face the winner of Sunderland versus Manchester United (the Black Cats lead 2-1 after one leg with a date at Old Trafford remaining).

– A win today would give them a fourth round FA Cup date with Watford at the Etihad.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)