Manchester City’s manager Manuel Pellegrini, has accused Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal of diving and earning a penalty. Monreal’s theatric dive, following a tussle with Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany earned Arsenal a penalty, which was converted clinically by Santi Cazorla. Pellergini, however, believes that it the penalty decision was unfair and blamed the Arsenal man for play acting.
“The movement of Kompany allows him [Nacho Monreal] to dive. I am not saying it was a bad mistake of the referee. The penalty changed the game, but it was not the reason we lost.” said Pellegrini
“I think it was not a penalty. The movement of Vincent was unnecessary. I think it was a very important action because we were nervous after the goal.” he added.
Manchester City, were indeed nervous after the first goal and played like a mere shadow of their former prolific self. The creative outlets were hampered by Arsenal’s disciplined defensing and that caused, an alienated Sergio Aguero in attack.
“I think we didn’t play a good game. We run a lot have a lot of possession but we didn’t have creative ideas to try and find the space against a team that defended very well. We weren’t creative enough.”
We tried to play good football, had plenty of possession but we couldn’t find the spaces we needed to create better opportunities and overall I don’t think we played very well,” said Pellegrini.
“We played against a team who defended very well, but we conceded two goals from set-pieces – the first was a penalty but don’t think was the correct decision.
Pellegrini, gave credit where due and hailed Arsenal’s defensive display.
“They defended very well and it wasn’t the usual Arsenal we are used to seeing – but even after they had scored a second goal there was still time to come back and maybe take a point. We just didn’t play with the ball when we had it.
Meanwhile, both Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany played part in Man City’s defeat. Although the former, was not his usual prolific self, the latter impressed with his acumen in defense.
“It is important to get minutes under your belt when you have been out for a while with injury and they were not able to give their best performance because it takes time to get back to their optimum levels..
“This week will be useful for them because they can continue to build their fitness and I hope in the next ten days or so they will be back to where they want to be.”
With a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, Manchester City are five points adrift of league leaders Chelsea. Pellegrini, was quick to emphasize on the magnitude of 31st January, when Manchester City clash swords against Chelsea.
The Chilean said, ” “I think the game we have coming up at Stamford Bridge is a very important game because we must close the gap back to two points but we will see what will happen in that game.”