Focus on Kiev game, Pellegrini tells City

LONDON • Manuel Pellegrini urged his Manchester City players to refocus on the Champions League following their disappointing 0-0 draw with English Premier League strugglers Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

His men were frustrated by a resolute Norwich side and were left nine points adrift of leaders Leicester City.

Pellegrini refused to rule his side out of the title race, but said that tomorrow's Champions League last-16 second leg with Dynamo Kiev at the Etihad Stadium, in which City lead 3-1, is now the immediate priority.

"Every time you drop points in the Premier League, it becomes more difficult," the Chilean said.

"But it will not change my mind. We think we can do it, but the most important thing now is to focus on the Champions League.

"After that, we have to play against Manchester United and we try to win again the three points. At the end of the season, we see how many points we have."

A concern for City has been the recent form of Spanish playmaker David Silva. Against Norwich, only Sergio Aguero posed a genuine goal threat, with Wilfried Bony, Jesus Navas and Silva all unable to make attacking contributions.

Silva, 30, has been a creative force for City, but he has rarely met his standards this campaign.

"He is playing with some problem in his ankle, but not a problem that does not allow him to play," Pellegrini said.

"I don't think it is just the problem of David that we didn't create the space. When you cannot win, it is the problem of the team."

Norwich manager Alex Neil was pleased with the point, but admits that he still has a huge fight on his hands to avoid the drop.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Focus on Kiev game, Pellegrini tells City'. Print Edition | Subscribe