Manuel Pellegrini defends his 4-4-2 field spread against Barcelona

Whenever an English side loses a high profile match on European front from any Spanish or German side, most of the time, media starts making it a conspiracy while sometime experts start lambasting the strategy being followed by the losing English side. Last Champions League clash between Manchester City and Barcelona was one such game where Barca dominated not only the field but as well achieved impressive 2-1 victory against the league defenders. The weakest point of the Manuel Pellegrini army was, according to some experts, his 4-4-2 field formation that allowed the opponents to possess the ball more than the City men. While there have been two opinions over this field spared, Pellegrini has defended his decision for using the new field formation despite having lost the game. Calling his field spread similar to what he used in the first leg, Chilean mentor said, “I don’t agree that we had a problem tactically because we played with two strikers. Barcelona played with three strikers. Real Madrid played with three strikers. I didn’t think I made a mistake because one thing is what you want to do and another thing is what we did, which is a different thing.”

Clearly he is hinting towards the changing trend where everyone wants to be more attacking than always in every game and we have seen this tradition slowing getting its roots on English soil as well thanks to Manchester United manager Van Gaal who brought this innovative field spread in English premier league, Anyways, 61-year-old further added, “Maybe playing with two strikers we must work better to try to recover the ball. You will never have more possession than Barcelona because they play that way, but when we have the ball we must do it better and must be dangerous, as they have problems defending.

“Second of all, you must play with a lot of intensity and high pace throughout the 95 minutes, and you must have the personality to go for the game from the beginning as one of the most important things is the style that we play in.”

Another City defender Pablo Zabaleta also showed his grief losing the important game against all expectations, he added, “Obviously losing 2-1 was not the result we wanted. We should have won. But we still have belief. In football, nothing is impossible. We need to go to Barcelona and win. Sergio Aguero was great in the first game and scored a fantastic goal. He can always make a difference. We need to be positive. We have the team and the players to do this.”

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