The Sky Blues reached the semi-finals of this year’s competition for the first time ever, having ousted Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals.
City never came close to being at their best in the double header against the Merengues, and were eliminated after Gareth Bale’s strike took a deflection of Fernando and looped over Joe Hart in the second leg at the Bernabeu.
Pellegrini’s side won the League Cup earlier this year, but now out of both the FA Cup and the Champions League, all they have left to compete for is a spot in next year’s UCL.
Indeed, speaking to the journalists [in quotes as relayed by the Independent], Pellegrini has insisted that it’s imperative his side end the campaign with a spot in the top four, and that it would be a ‘disaster’ if the Sky Blues fell short.
“If you are not in the top four and in the Champions League the next year, to demonstrate you are one of the best teams in England, then for me, it’s a disaster,” the Chilean coach began.
“It would be a disaster of a season, that’s why I always said last year, when we didn’t win any titles, that it was not a disaster [because City finished second],” he continued.
“It was not a good season, no, it was not a good season, but a disaster is when you are not involved in the next season’s Champions League. That is a disaster for all the big teams.”
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One suspects that Pellegrini’s successor Pep Guardiola will also be desperate for the current side to complete their mission and reach next year’s UCL.
Should they fail, it may well be tougher for the Spanish coach to recruit the cream of the world’s talent for his anticipated rebuild at the Etihad Stadium.