What goes around comes around, and so it did for Manuel Pellegrini and his Manchester City side all within 72 hours this week.
On Sunday, Manchester City was celebrating their fourth League Cup trophy victory after they had defeated Liverpool in a tense match and went on to win on penalties.
But as luck had it, the two sides were due to meet just three days later and at Anfield a wounded animal in Liverpool licked its wounds and gave City a beating. Okay, 3-0 may not be a thrashing that Liverpool fans were boasting about after the game but it was certainly a solid result after the disappointment of Sunday.
For Manchester City, it probably ended their quest to win a third Premier League title in 5 seasons. And considering the money spent and the players that have been brought in, one can only feel that City’s season at least in the league has been incredibly hollow.
The club have never found the consistency that made them champions as recent as 2014, and the loss to Liverpool meant that Pellegrini’s side have now lost three games in a row.
City are 10 points behind league leaders Leicester City, and whilst it’s true that the club have a game more to play, it would seem on reflection that it will make little difference.
The problem for City is that Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are between them and the leaders, and it seems unrealistic that all teams will implode to let them back in the title race.
For City, we shouldn’t speak about League titles but we should question instead if they will qualify for next season’s Champions League. Just ten days ago, they held a six point advantage over rivals Manchester United for the fourth and coveted spot. So much was the gap at the time that United coach Louis van Gaal declared that Champions League qualification was all but over.
And now United rest on the same points (47) as City, and the heat really is on. It seems difficult not to think that City will drop more points before the end of the season. However Pellegrini, who knows his time is up at the end of the season for incoming coach Pep Guardiola, doesn’t have to worry.
His priority in his final weeks is to drive City to an unlikely Champions League title. Whilst that may be beyond them, this is where the fun and the rest of the season realistically lies for the club.
As for Guardiola, he will be hoping that City have enough in the tank to finish top four. Otherwise the Spaniard will be coaching in the Europa League next season for the first time in his career. Oh the irony.
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