Football: Don't rule out City surge, says Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini reacts during a match.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini reacts during a match.PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City are still capable of beating their Premier League title rivals despite several recent stumbles.

Pellegrini's side missed a chance to close the gap on leaders Arsenal after being held to a frustrating goal-less draw by Everton on Wednesday.

City lost to Everton in the recent League Cup semi-final first leg and were also beaten by Stoke and Arsenal in December, prompting some critics to claim they no longer provoke fear in opposing teams.

But City manager Pellegrini, whose third-placed team remain three points adrift of the Gunners heading into Saturday's home fixture against Crystal Palace, is adamant those results were just aberrations rather than a foreshadowing of worse things to come.

"One of the things this team is not is predictable. We have so many different ways to play - with two strikers, with one striker, without strikers," Pellegrini said.

"We've changed the tactical system a lot of times so I think we continue being, after three seasons when I'm in charge, the top-scoring team of the Premier League.

"If we don't score once, having 17 shots at goal, it's just an accident, but I don't think it's because our rivals know the way they must play."