Pellegrini: Man City seized last chance in Champions League

A Sergio Aguero hat-trick inspired the Premier League champions to a dramatic comeback victory over the Bundesliga giants and now they must go to Rome and win next month


Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he told his Manchester City players to take their “last chance to stay in the Champions League” prior to Tuesday’s stirring second-half comeback against 10-man Bayern Munich.

Goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski left City staring down the barrel of another early exit from Europe’s elite club competition at half-time, but Sergio Aguero scored twice after the break to complete a clinical hat-trick and keep his team’s qualification hopes alive.

City must now beat Roma at Stadio Olimpico next month and hope CSKA Moscow fail to beat Bayern in Germany to secure their place in the Champions League knockout stage, and Pellegrini believes the spirit his players showed bodes well.

“My first thought at half-time was that we conceded two unbelievable goals and when you do that, it is very difficult to win,” the Chilean told reporters. “But I told the players we had 45 minutes to score two goals, otherwise we were out.

“I said it was our last chance to stay in the Champions League and I told them not to allow their spirit to fall down. Another team may do that, but this team never does that. It is never beaten and it always does its all to win.

“We had to play two games and we have won the first one. Now we have one more game to play. If CSKA win in Munich, then we will go out, but it is very important that we go to Rome and do our game and try to get a win.

“I do not know if this kind of victory gives a lot of [belief] to the squad, but we will see what we have to do and see what happens against Roma.”

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