Who could imagine Pellegrini choosing defensive players to face Barcelona and after being defeated blaming the referee for the whole responsibility. City’s coach played Mourinho’s role yesterday, using the same strategy that the Portuguese used when he faced Barcelona during his 3 years in Spain. Defenssive teams plus blaming external determining factors.
Pellegrini changed first his style placing Kolarov as a midfielder and reinforcing his left wing, where Alves and Messi are supposed to move. He also gave the ball to the Spanish team, barely having the ball possession and confining the home team to defend and not to lose the game. That intimidating City, with two strikers and hunger for possesion and domination did not appear on the pitch. The plan was not to lose.
But what most defined Mourinho’s tyle during his stay in Spain was that he blamed the referee or any external factor when he failed. No self-criticism ever. And that is exactly what Pellegrini made yesterday in the post-match press conference. Blame the referee, for what he may be charged by UEFA, and not only by saying that he made mistakes, but saying that he favoured Barcelona on purpose. Such serious accusations are not usual in football as most assume that referee sometimes favours you and others harms.
Pellegrini also copied Mourinho in the League game against Mourinho’s Chelsea, where he placed Demichelis as a midfielder,like the Portuguese did with Pepe in big games. The result was again disappointing.
It is not the first time that Pellegrini blames the referee for a big defeat in Europe. Last year, when he reached quarter finals with Malaga, with the spanish team fighting expulsion from the following season’s European competition Pellegrini said that “It was difficult for a banned team to reach the semi-finals”.
Manchester City has spent hundreds of million in order to get Champions League glory and once they overcome the groups phase, they will go no further as it seem impossible to get back in the draw. Their image yesterday was poor, but the worst was to watch Pellegrini charging against the referee instead of having picked a more offensive squad to dominate the game and seek the victory, as they did in most of Premier League games.