English Premiership

Pellegrini: Title chase far from over

2015-09-20 08:48
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

Manchester - Manuel Pellegrini took no pleasure in being proved correct but Manchester City's surprise 2-1 home defeat to West Ham illustrated his belief that the Premier League title is far from over.

The league leaders saw their 11-match winning streak brought to an end thanks to first half goals from Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho for a West Ham side that has won all three of their away games this season -- at Arsenal, Liverpool and, now, City.

The day started with City having the potential to move 14 points clear of defending champions Chelsea had results gone their way.

Instead, Slaven Bilic's West Ham moved to within three points of City despite Kevin De Bruyne's goal late in the first half giving the home side hope of continuing their unbeaten ways.

"We never believed, because we won five games, we were champions of the Premier League," said Pellegrini.

"We have to play 32 games more, 96 more points, so nobody can believe that."

City were without injured captain and defender Vincent Kompany as well as influential forward David Silva, who picked up a calf injury in the pre-game warm-up.

Pellegrini refused to use their absences as an excuse and, instead, criticised his team's collective lack of concentration for their defensive woes and mistakes.

"I don't want to compare one season with another because we have just started this season," he said.

"But we have lost two games where we haven't played with the concentration and intensity we need in defending. So we conceded twice against Juventus (in the Champions League), they had two shots and we conceded two goals. And today, exactly the same.

"There was one shot from the edge of the box, one corner. That was the whole offensive volume of West Ham during the whole game. So we must be concentrating more because two balls decided the result.

"I don't want to make excuses about David Silva. We didn't win and I don't think one player could change history. David has a kick on his calf, he tried it in the warm-up but he felt his muscle so he didn't play."

Bilic was clearly delighted by yet another eye-catching victory although he jokingly bristled at suggestions that such success was now so common place that it did not represent a surprise.

"It is a surprise," insisted Bilic. "This game was different to the games at Emirates and Anfield because, with the greatest respect to Arsenal and Liverpool, this team is the best in the league.

"We knew it was going to be like this, we knew we were going to have to score to get something from the game but we did it. We didn't nick it.

"This will do our confidence good but there is a tiny line between confidence and arrogance or between confidence and a little bit of laziness. It's hard not to get carried away."

He added: "That's the key. We know there are going to be ups and downs -- we're not Real Madrid -- but it is looking very good now. I'm so proud of everyone and everything connected with this great club."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 23 November 2019
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v Norwich City, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 November 2019
Sheffield United v Manchester United, Bramall Lane 18:30
Monday, 25 November 2019
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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.