Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes his side are not the favourites to progress despite playing out a 2-2 away draw against Paris Saint Germain in the first leg of their Champions League football quarter-final.
City need, at least, a draw at their home ground next Tuesday to make it to the semis via the away goal rule.
“No, we’re not favourites. Not before this game and not after,” Pellegrini was quoted as saying by the BBC on Wednesday.
“Between big teams, you never have a favourite. It will still be open.”
City took the lead against the French champions through Kevin de Bruyne, but then trailed 2-1 as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adrien Rabiot scored for PSG.
However, it was Fernandinho’s deflected effort 18 minutes from time which handed City a draw.
“We must not talk about a semi-final,” said Pellegrini.
“We must play the second leg not thinking we are already qualified. When we qualify, we can talk about other things.”
The 24-year-old, De Bruyne has now scored in both of his matches since coming back from an injury.
Speaking about him, Pellegrini said, ”Sometimes one player can change a team. He was important before his injury and thankfully he returned the same way.”
Pellegrini, however, was alarmed by the defensive frailties exhibited by his team and blamed the linesman for overlooking an off-side during PSG’s second goal.
“In the first half, we make important mistakes that we cannot make if we want to continue in the Champions League. Unfortunately for us in the second half, the second goal of Paris Saint-Germain was absolutely offside. It was a mistake of the linesman,” he continued.
“It’s not easy for a team to recover but this team has the personality and they believe in what we do. We always try to play attacking and try to score. That way we scored the second goal.”