Pellegrini's record V Barcelona - Cause for concern?

Manuel Pellegrini

The Manchester City manager will be putting out a team to not only advance to the quarter finals of the Champions League, but to try and end a poor record.

Manchester City fans may be dreaming of a quadruple this season, but for that to happen something will have to change when they face Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium as the La Liga champions seem to be a bit of a bogey side for their manager Manuel Pellegrini.

All of his wins as manager against Barca have come when he was in charge of Villarreal. Since his last win against City's last 16 opponents – a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp in March 2008 - he has lost ten and drawn two of their 12 meetings.

Will it be 13th time lucky for Pellegrini as he looks to lead his side to a memorable victory over the four time European Champions?

He lost the two El Clasico matches he was in charge of during his time at Real Madrid, as well as losing every single league match to them when in charge of Malaga.

However, the one thing that should encourage Manchester City fans is Pellegrini’s record in the Champions League. Though he hasn’t lifted the trophy, his Malaga side were only moments away from dumping Borussia Dortmund out of the competition last season, whilst Jens Lehmann’s penalty save from Juan Roman Riquelme denied his Villarreal team extra time against Arsenal in 2006.

His Malaga sides did always score against Barcelona as well, so the Chilean knows their defence can be breached having done so on each of his last eight encounters against them.

It looks like City could well score given the firepower they have in the side but will just need to keep the door firmly shut at the back to stop Messi & Co. Having conceded 28 goals against them whilst at Malaga, it is going to take a good effort to stop Barca’s attacking strength breaching City in either leg of this tie.

image: © Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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