Pellegrini says City still in title race despite Arsenal defeat

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini looks concerned during the 2-0 defeat by Arsenal.

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists the Premier League title race is far from over, but admitted his side lacked creativity in their 2-0 defeat by Arsenal.

A 2-0 loss at the Etihad leaves City five points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, ahead of the meeting between the two clubs at the end of the month, but Pellegrini remains confident his side can still catch up.

"I don’t think that this is finished," Pellegrini told Sky Sports. "Even if we don’t win or we draw (against Chelsea later this month), we can continue fighting because in football, you never know.

"It was a long way to recover the eight points Chelsea had on our team, and now they’re five points ahead, it will be a decisive game. We’ll try to prepare, try to win the game and try to close that gap again."

Arsenal opened the scoring in the first half from Santi Cazorla’s penalty, after Vincent Kompany was adjudged to have brought down Nacho Monreal – a decision which left Pellegrini unimpressed.

"I don’t want to talk about the penalty as I think it changed the game, but was not the decisive reason why we lost," the Chilean said.

"Before the penalty we have the possession of the ball, we play near their box and they don’t really have any clear chances to score during the whole game.

"For me, it was not a penalty, but the moment from Kompany that allows him (Monreal) to go to dive was unnecessary."

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Olivier Giroud added a second for the Gunners in the second half, while City struggled to test Arsenal keeper David Ospina as the hosts failed to score for only the second time this season. 

"The decisive thing was because we were not a creative team," Pellegrini added. "We had a lot of time on the ball but didn’t really create the chances to score.

"I think they (Arsenal) played very concentrated, defending very well. Arsenal had merit in this game, but I think we are a better team on the ball than how we played today.

"We ran through the whole game, pressed and recovered the ball very well, but after that we didn’t have any ideas how to create the space in their defence."