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Pellegrini targets first place as City seal passage

Manuel Pellegrini turned his focus to winning Group D after Manchester City FC qualified by beating PFC CSKA Moskva, whose boss Leonid Slutski was downcast in defeat.

Pellegrini targets first place as City seal passage
Pellegrini targets first place as City seal passage ©UEFA.com

Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City manager
[Qualification] is the first step but it is an important one, as the club have not qualified in the last two years. The first target was to reach the last 16. Tonight we did that. I always want the team to score more goals, to get as many as they can. [CSKA] did not have too many chances, we scored five and had a lot of chances. I like to score but I do not like to concede, and today we did give away two.

We will see what we can achieve in February. Now we play our last two games thinking about coming first in the group, which is important. We will see what happens in February – it's difficult to know, anything can happen in the knockout phase. Any team we play against could be first in their group so it will be difficult.

[David] Silva and Fernandinho have small problems and came off. We will see what is up tomorrow when they see the doctor.

Leonid Slutski, CSKA Moskva coach
We knew City are very dangerous in attack and so we planned to use counterattacking tactics. Doing that we scored two goals and created some chances, but obviously we allowed too much room for the City attackers. Of course we are not happy with our defensive showing and with the number of opportunities they had. City are stronger in terms of individuals, they have some of the top players in the world. We tried to resist, but we needed to minimise the number of mistakes and give them much less room in the final third.

It is obvious that Manchester City are stronger, but we still could have played a better game, so I have many issues to discuss with my players. The positive thing is that we played this game – we faced Manchester City, one of the strongest clubs in the world, and we do not play such games very often. We scored twice and had other chances, but unfortunately we could not give a more balanced performance.