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Pellegrini not giving up on City’s title challenge



Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City still have title aspirations as they prepare to face relegation threatened Aston Villa on Saturday.

After beating Liverpool to secure the League Cup last weekend, City suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss at the hands of Liverpool as they failed to make ground on title rivals Leicester City, Tottenham and Arsenal – (all failing to win in midweek).

City have 11 matches to play and 10 points adrift surprise leaders Leicester with just one game in hand after losing three consecutive league games for the first time since 2008.

However, the Chilean still has high hopes for a title challenge.

“I hope on Saturday we can return to our normal level of performance,” he said. “I said the Premier League will be won by a team with 80 points or less.

“It is an important gap, but we are not thinking about other teams. It is important to try and recover the energy we normally have. We have not played well in the last few games in the Premier League.

“Liverpool is an important defeat because we now have one game less and we couldn’t win one point.”

City have won seven and lost just one of their last nine league meetings with Villa, and were held to a goalless draw in Garde’s first game in charge in November, having failed to find the back of the net in the last eight league encounters against them.

City will hope they can have Yaya Toure back after suffering a foot injury that kept him out of the Liverpool defeat.


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