English Premier League: Pellegrini looking forward to Liverpool clash

City manager dismisses controversy surrounding 4-1 win against Southampton.


Afp April 05, 2014
City’s 4-1 victory over Southampton sees them close to within a point of Liverpool with a game in hand. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON:


Manchester City kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 4-1 win at home to Southampton in Saturday’s early kick-off match.


Victory saw City close to within a point of Liverpool with a game in hand as they face the Reds in next week’s fixture.

However, controversy surrounded Nasri’s goal that made it 2-1 with David Silva, who played in the French midfielder, in an offside position when he received the ball only for referee Chris Foy and his linesmen to let play continue.

“I haven’t seen it (City’s second goal) yet but it is the referee who decides,” said Pellegrini.

“I don’t think the difference between the two sides was just one goal. They had possession but no real chances to score.

“Now we have an important game against Liverpool. We have a lot of time to prepare and I don’t think that game will decide the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, Saints Manager Mauricio Pochettino, who was furious at the decision to let Nasri’s goal stand, stated it as the turning point in the game.

“It’s clear that the second goal changed it,” said Pochettino.

“We were superior up that point, we can analyse the game to that point but there is no point after that. It just killed off the game.”

Rodgers wary of Carroll threat

Brendan Rodgers admits he fears a fired-up Andy Carroll could wreck Liverpool’s title challenge when the West Ham striker faces his former club on Sunday.

“He is wonderful in the air, has a good touch in and around the box, so he certainly has nothing to prove to Liverpool,” said Rodgers.

“I think he is one of the best players in Europe in how he plays, that style of attacking the ball in the air is outstanding.”

Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce concedes that taking on a Suarez and Sturridge inspired Liverpool is a daunting proposition.

“At the moment, the Liverpool team in terms of form and coupled with results are at 100%,” said Allardyce.

“And Suarez now finds himself in the top two or three players in the world. His combination with Sturridge has flourished. The rest of the team is providing service behind them and they’ve all grown in quality and confidence.”

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal will have only themselves to blame if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Wenger’s side face Everton on Sunday in a clash that can prove crucial for Champions League qualification.

The Gunners currently hold the fourth and final Champions League spot but a defeat against Roberto Martinez’s men at Goodison Park would leave the north Londoners in severe danger of squandering their advantage.

“The target is to finish as high as possible. Where that will be at the moment will depend only on our results,” said Wenger.

“Having someone like Ramsey, who can help the team be successful, is very important.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2014.

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