Manuel Pellegrini Refuses to Blame Joe Hart for Heavy Bayern Defeat
Manchester City’s heavy home defeat against Champions League holders Bayern Munich on Matchday 2 means the Germans are now firmly in charge of Group D. City must pick themselves up after arguably their poorest performance of the season, with the visit of Everton on Saturday now taking on extra significance.
It was a passing masterclass from Bayern, who totally dominated the match, despite never really hitting their best form. City were made to look way short of the level needed to be potential Champions League winners.
Joe Hart was culpable for two of Bayern’s goals, having been beaten at his near post twice, and his form is now a serious worry. Poor performances and glaring errors are now commonplace in the England goalkeeper’s game, and he must improve if City are to challenge for honours this season.
After the match, manager Manuel Pellegrini, who was visibly despondent after being comprehensively outplayed, said he didn’t want to focus on individual performances.
“I will talk about the team not individuals.”
“We played really bad today – it’s not the team we’ve seen every week in the Premier League and I think that was the worst thing.
“We didn’t have possession and we didn’t do enough to have more. Of course Bayern always have a lot of the ball but today wasn’t a good day for us.
“It’s your duty as journalists to analyse individual players, I think we didn’t play well but of course we could do better on the goals, not only the goalkeeper.
“You can concede goals against Bayern Munich though because they’re a very good team."
The one positive for City was the impact of their three substitutes. Alvaro Negredo, who scored a brilliant goal on the turn, David Silva and James Milner all played well when introduced, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if all three started the game at home to Everton on Saturday.
Silva, in particular, looked impressive on his return after a month out with injury, assisting Negredo’s goal and hitting the bar with a late free-kick. He remains City’s finest player going forward and his place in the side, fitness permitting, is absolutely assured.
Pellegrini said he was surprised by just how bad City were, but he remained positive that his players know what they must do if they are to improve.
“I think the three substitutes did very well and we changed a little more than that. In the last 15/20 minutes we were better.
“It’s an important thing about the squad we have but it wasn’t enough to change the result—from the start we were OK but, once they scored, we were losing the ball and that’s very dangerous against this Bayern team.
“I was surprised by the game we played today—the goal Negredo scored was just a little thing at the end.
“I think that me and all of the players know exactly what we must do to do well in the Champions League going forward.”
The Chilean was also keen to stress that drawing too many conclusions from one match was dangerous, reiterating his desire to see his team progress to the last-16.
“It’s just one game, you can have a lot of conclusions from just one game but of course we can improve a lot—we have the quality to qualify for the round of 16.”
With this defeat to Bayern coming quickly after the loss away at Aston Villa, City now have to take all three points from their game against Everton at the weekend. The international break follows that game, and City can't afford to go into it on the back of three poor results.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.
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