Football: City's fragile defence not entirely linked to Kompany's absence, says Pellegrini

.Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists that the team are not over-reliant on captain Vincent Kompany.
.Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists that the team are not over-reliant on captain Vincent Kompany. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Manager Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City are not over-reliant on captain Vincent Kompany, who has missed the last five games with a calf injury, despite the side's indifferent form when the defender is missing.

In the 10 games Kompany has started in all competitions this season, City have kept seven clean sheets and lost only once.

But they have failed to shut out the opposition in 13 matches without the Belgian, losing five of them.

Pellegrini was keen to highlight City's form towards the end of last campaign as proof that too much is made of Kompany's absence.

"No, I don't agree with your conclusions," Pellegrini told reporters on Monday when asked if Kompany's absence was key to his side's poor form.

"The whole season, there are a lot of games we played without our important players. We must make a balance of the whole season," the Chilean added as he prepared his side to face Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"Last season, we finished the last six games without Vincent Kompany, we won the six and had four clean sheets.

"It depends on the performance of individual players, it depends on a lot of things. In the last two years, we played a lot of games without important players."

Kompany will also miss the Group D encounter at the Etihad Stadium in which City, who have already ensured their place in the last 16, could overtake Italian side Juventus at the top of the pool with a victory.

Juventus - two points clear of the Premier League side and with a better head-to-head record - travel to Sevilla in their final group game.