Title destiny in our hands says Manuel Pellegrini
Manchester City boss tight-lipped on title chances after 2-0 win over Crystal Palace
Manuel Pellegrini was tight-lipped about Manchester City’s Premier League title chances but stressed the importance of having their destiny back in their own hands following the 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Defeat by Liverpool two weeks ago looked to have ended their quest for a second Premier League title in three seasons but it is now still very much alive after victory over the south Londoners and Liverpool 2-0 loss at home to second-placed Chelsea.
City, three points behind the leaders with a game in hand and a superior goal difference, will almost certainly take the title if they win their remaining three games but Pellegrini remained in cautious mood.
“Advantage? No,” he told reporters. “But we now depend on what we can do in the future and that is very important.
“For the moment we continue in the same position, Liverpool has three points above our team, Chelsea one point. So we have to play the last three games and win them.
“But if we win of course it is very important not to have to depend on the results of other teams.
“They [Liverpool] had to lose one game and of course this [the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea] was the game.
“The good thing is the destiny is in our hands.”
Pellegrini said his players knew of Liverpool’s loss before kickoff but praised the professional manner in which they focused on the task at hand.
A trip to in-form Crystal Palace, guaranteed a place in the top flight next season after a run of five consecutive victories before Sunday, presented City with a difficult challenge but any nerves were eased when Edin Dzeko nodded in Yaya Toure’s cross in the fourth minute.
City’s midfield talisman doubled their lead in the 43rd minute. Ivorian Toure surged on to Samir Nasri’s pass before holding off a defender and curling a left-foot shot into the top corner for his 19th league goal of the season.
Adding the Premier League title to their League Cup triumph is far from a foregone conclusion, though, with City facing a difficult trip to Goodison Park on Saturday to face an Everton side still in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
“We are thinking that we need to beat Everton next week. The most important thing is to concentrate our minds on winning the next game,” the Chilean added.
“Maybe if we win all our games and Liverpool win their games then maybe the goal difference is important but first we must win all our games.
“First it is very important to play a good game against Everton and after that the last two games are at home.
“This league will be decided by a very narrow margin.”