Manuel Pellegrini is a manager who prides his teams on playing attractive, attacking football.
If you watched Manchester City’s scoreless draw against Manchester United today, you wouldn’t have known that.
City played very defensively, seemingly content with earning just a point from the kickoff, as the Premier League’s most potent offense never really challenged on the attack.
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After the match, Pellegrini said that while he was happy with taking a point away from home, he did not enjoy playing so conservatively.
I am satisfied with a point but I don’t like to play in this way. It’s easy to play that way.
If we want to defend, we can. We don’t like to, we are an attacking team.
It’s important to have a point here, another point in the table, but I don’t think it’s the way the team must play,
If you can’t win it then don’t lose it by not concentrating. Unfortunately for the fans it was not a very attractive game.
While Pellegrini is correct in his assessment that it was not an attractive game for the fans, earning a draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford is a good showing for any side. Factor in that City played without Sergio Aguero and David Silva, and it’s hard to complain about the result.
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The City boss may be unhappy with the match today, but the result could prove to be massive in their title chase. If Pellegrini chose to play his usual attacking style away from home, City could have been exposed and failed to get a draw, which would have seen their crosstown rivals jump over them on the table.
Instead, Pellegrini showed he is willing to sacrifice playing “attractive” for getting a result, even if the result was a dull scoreless draw. As seen last season by champions Chelsea, the points are more important than the play.