Pellegrini: This is better for England

Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

Cape Town - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has explained his team selection for the 5-1 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Chilean manager only fielded four recognisable first-team players for the fifth-round clash, in which Diego Costa struck first before French youngster David Faupala, a free transfer from Lens, levelled the scores just two minutes later.

But the Blues had a full-strength team on the pitch and put the City youngsters to the sword in the second-half, with Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, and Bertrand Traore all bagging goals.

"Unfortunately for us, we couldn't play another game and we couldn't have more players fit for this game so we knew it was a very difficult chance to continue in the FA Cup but because the game was played today we couldn't progress," Pellegrini said.

"If we play on Saturday it's better for us because we have to play for England in the Champions League on Wednesday so it's better for England.

"The second thing is that we have six players injured and we don't have more than 13 players so we could not take the risk to continue having injuries to the players that we have.

"After that, we came up against a very good team. We played a very good 45 minutes in which we equalised the game.

"After that we threw away the game in five minutes by conceding two goals too easily. The first one we were attacking and conceded a counter-attack and then a set-piece. Of course, then they played well and scored more goals."

Having surrendered their place in the domestic cup competition, City will look to progress in the Champions League when they travel to Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev at the NSK Olimpijs'kyj on Wednesday.

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