English Premiership

Pellegrini hopes City learn title lessons

2015-08-28 12:14
Manuel Pellegrini (File)

Manchester - Manuel Pellegrini has challenged his Manchester City stars to prove they have learned the lessons of last season's failure to retain the Premier League title.

Three games into the new league season, leaders City are the last remaining side with a perfect record: three wins, eight goals scored and none conceded.

This has come as a surprise to those who witnessed their decidedly unconvincing pre-season form, but it would appear that the players have answered Pellegrini's call for consistency.

City's title challenge failed last season because of a tendency to drop points against mid-table sides; for that reason, Saturday's match against an awkward Watford side lying 12th is likely to provide an indicator of their progress.

"We analysed what happened last season," Pellegrini said. "It wasn't a disaster because we finished second and we were the team who scored the most goals, but we were not consistent through the whole year.

"We lost points against teams who were fighting relegation, so I think after three games you can see we have learned those lessons.

"It is only August and we finish in May, so it is important to keep playing, working and thinking in the same way as we are doing."

Pellegrini has been helped by significant spending on the squad over the close-season, and there may be more to come.

Nicolas Otamendi, signed from Valencia, is available to make his debut at centre-back, having missed last Sunday's 2-0 win at Everton because his international clearance did not come through in time.

Otamendi's price tag, which could rise to 32 million with add-ons, makes him the second-most expensive central defender in Premier League history, and yet there is no guarantee he will start.

That is because the costliest, Eliaquim Mangala, currently holds a first-team place at City, and has finally started to find form alongside Vincent Kompany after a poor first campaign in England.

Pellegrini is not a fan of playing a three-man central defence, so there is a tricky decision to be made, both for Saturday and in the weeks ahead.

Discussions, meanwhile, are continuing with Wolfsburg to try to bring in Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, although it appears unlikely that any deal would be ready in time for the weekend's game; and it may yet be that a deal is not done at all.

As it stands, City are well placed to push on without De Bruyne; Yaya Toure looks rejuvenated, while Sergio Aguero and David Silva have both started the season in fine form.

Pellegrini's side will feel they are well placed for a club-record 10th successive league victory.

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.