Pellegrini says that Manchester City can't give up Chelsea chase

With nine games left, Manchester City need to find perfect form if they have any chance of winning the Premier League title this season.

Elimination from the Champions League on Wednesday night means that Manchester City can now fully concentrate on trying to catch Chelsea in the Premier League.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News on Friday, Manuel Pellegrini declared that his side would not be conceding the title just yet, but admits it will be tough:

"We must never give up. We are six points behind Chelsea, so it is difficult, but we still have nine games left. We must focus our minds.

"It is a disappointment not to go through but we have just played the best team in the world."

City have lost two of their last three games in the Premier League and they will need to forget about their defeat to Barcelona and look to find the form that saw them score five against Newcastle United at the end of February.

If the blue half of Manchester is going to have any chance of catching Jose Mourinho’s side, they need to forget their average home form and make the Etihad Stadium a fortress for the remaining five games.

Playing against West Brom, West Ham, Aston Villa, QPR and Southampton will not be easy, but with only two of those sides battling to stay out of the relegation zone, nothing short of the full 15 points available will be good enough.

Defeat against Barcelona is nothing to be ashamed of, the Spanish side are in such imperious form at the moment, and it is hard to blame Pellegrini or his tactics for City’s elimination. However, losing to Burnley and dropping points to Hull City is not good enough:

"I always feel responsible for my team," he said. "I pick the players and the way we play. The performance has a lot to do with the tactics, but I would do exactly the same again."

15 points at home will need to be joined by at least nine points in the away games against Crystal Palace, Spurs, Swansea and, of course, the Manchester derby against United.

They would still need Chelsea to drop points in their last 10 games, but they do have tough fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United to come.

Although even if they lost all three games, victory in the other seven would still see Chelsea crowned Premier League champions.

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