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Manuel Pellegrini claims Premier League schedule affected Manchester City in Southampton loss

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Manchester City had an ugly loss to Southampton on Sunday, but that was not because of the team, according to the boss.

Manuel Pellegrini spoke to the press after the 4-2 defeat at St. Mary's, and he vigorously defended his team selection, which saw eight changes from the team that drew against Real Madrid last Tuesday. The Chilean rotated his squad heavily ahead of the Champions League semifinal second leg at Santiago Bernabéu, but his risk did not pay off and his men were dominated by Saints.

Yet, Pellegrini chose to direct attentions to the Premier League schedule, which forced the Citizens to play on Sunday, which gave the team less time to recover for the game at the Spanish capital.

"I tried to select a team that would win the game. I also had to select a team based on who would play on Wednesday. Maybe if we played on Saturday we could have another option for this game but playing with too many players that are not playing often is difficult.

"In the first half we had clear options to score so they scored the two goals but we got back in it with Kelechi. We started well in the second half before the decisive goal from the corner. After that it was very difficult to turn it around.

"It all depends on what we can do in these last two games. We are three points behind Arsenal and if we beat Arsenal we’ll be in third position before the last game.

"It’s very important for a player to score goals. I was happy with the way he played today. I’m happy for him with the goals that he scored."

Source: MCFC