We will put up a fight: City boss

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini (far right) and his assistant Ruben Cousillas watching over training as they prepare to face Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League quarter-final, second-leg clash.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini (far right) and his assistant Ruben Cousillas watching over training as they prepare to face Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League quarter-final, second-leg clash. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pellegrini declares team will go all out despite needing only a goal-less draw to progress

LONDON • Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini yesterday vowed to stick to his attacking philosophy and insisted he would not settle for a goal-less draw against Paris Saint-Germain even though that result would send them into the Champions League semi-finals.

City head into today's quarter-final second-leg clash at the Etihad Stadium with a slight advantage having drawn 2-2 against the French champions in Paris.

"The most important aspect of this team is to score. Do we think we need to draw 0-0? That's not the way we normally play," Pellegrini told a press conference yesterday.

"I don't think one of the teams are favourites. We went there to try and win the game and tomorrow we'll do exactly the same."

City's hopes of reaching the last four of the Champions League for the first time, however, have been dealt a considerable setback with the news that Vincent Kompany had lost his fitness battle.

The City skipper was able to train with the rest of the squad yesterday morning but Pellegrini revealed that was "not possible" for him to be involved against the French champions.

Pellegrini had better news about Nicolas Otamendi even though the Argentinian centre-back did not take part in training because of a twisted ankle he suffered in Saturday's 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion.

Pellegrini will now have to decide whether to gamble with Otamendi's fitness or recall Martin Demichelis for the first time since his traumatic appearance in last month's Manchester derby, when he was given such a torrid time by Marcus Rashford, 18, that he was substituted early in the second half.

Given the defensive lapses by both teams in Paris, attack may yet be the best form of defence.

PSG winger Angel di Maria would loathe to be at the losing end on his return to Manchester, and revealed how Laurent Blanc's men can prevail.

"We need to play the way we know how - control the ball, attack and take the chances that come our way," said the Argentinian, who endured a miserable spell with Manchester United last season.

"That's how we've won our matches up until this point. It's our style. Our opponents use up a lot of energy chasing the ball and then we hit them where it hurts."

While City had to grind out a comeback victory against West Brom, di Maria, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, forward Edinson Cavani, midfielder Thiago Motta, centre-back Thiago Silva, and left-back Maxwell were all rested in PSG's 2-0 league win at Guingamp on Saturday.

PSG will be without David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi, who are both suspended after being booked in the first leg. But Marco Verratti has been included in Blanc's squad.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'We will put up a fight: City boss'. Print Edition | Subscribe