All the news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad this weekend…
Alvaro Negredo put the Blues ahead on the stroke of half-time, but the hosts equalised 10 minutes after the interval courtesy of Scott Dann.
If Manuel Pellegrini was not nervy with the scores level, he surely was when defender Dedryck Boyata was sent off with ten minutes to go.
But the visitors held out and will now face Gary Bowyer’s men at the Etihad Stadium, with the winners welcoming either Bristol City or Watford in the fourth-round.
Talking after the match, Pellegrini said he was not concerned by having to play an extra match despite the demands of the second half of the season.
Speaking to the BBC, the Chilean said, “It’s not an extra problem. We have the squad to do it.
“We play Blackburn instead of travelling to Abu Dhabi and playing a friendly. What is better? Nobody knows?”
City could now face seven matches in 21 days, but considering the players at their disposal, it is unlikely to be a problem. And they may yet be adding to that squad, with Pellegrini refusing to rule out any moves in the January transfer window.
As reported in the Mirror, the City boss said, “It doesn’t mean that we cannot do maybe some things from now until the end of January but, for now, nothing important.”
He has previously said he is happy with the squad available to him, but one supposes that if a player too good to refuse becomes available, that could change.
And finally, defender Joleon Lescott has been speaking about the criticism he received during yesterday’s match.
In quotes published by Sky Sports, the England international said, “Can only apologise for not showing appreciation after the game, but some comments I heard from a small group of our fans were unnecessary.”
Lescott has been the subject of plenty of transfer rumours recently, and may be one of the players to leave the Etihad this month should a suitable offer be made.
image: © geetarchurchy