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Manchester Derby: Pellegrini Rues Missed Chances But is He in Denial?

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Manchester City's poor form against top nine sides continued at the Etihad on Sunday. The Blues once again failed to make possession and chances pay against a Manchester United side that has been indifferent form-wise lately. Despite the poor quality of the Premier League, the Blues have been unable to mount a serious title challenge and save a one very questionable call that cost West Ham full points yesterday at Stamford Bridge, would also be outside the top four.

But outgoing City boss Manuel Pellegrini has his own spin on today's events.

"We continue in fourth position," he added. "We have to play for another 24 points. We must be focused on the next game.

"I am not unhappy with the performance of the team. We had 26 attempts on their goal and we dominated the game but missed chances to score."

"It is not the best way to finish the season,"but I am happy with the players' attitude. They are all focused and they want to finish as near to the top as possible.

"We have another 24 points to play for and every game is different. United did not play better than us.

"It was a mistake in the lead up to the first goal. I don't remember a lot of chances United had - they had just one after the goal."

Conceding an early goal at home of course means you will have the bulk of play and chances after against sides like Manchester United who don't produce a whole lot going forward on a regular basis. Thus Pellegrini's observations about the match and City's poor luck is really worthless.

It's difficult to see a scenario where the Blues now finish 3rd or higher, thus avoiding either a UEFA Champions League playoff or worse yet a trip straight to the Europa League.