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Manuel Pellegrini: It is very important to win the first game


Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says the focus against Barcelona on Tuesday will be on not conceding goals.

In a mouthwatering clash between two of Europe's giants, City host Luis Enrique's men after a positive weekend in the Premier League hoping to improve their early season form in the Champions League.

The Citizens - in fact - came very close to getting out of Group E after only picking up two points from their first three games but the Chilean insists his players never gave up the fight.

"We never thought we were out of the Champions League," Pellegrini told reporters this afternoon.

"We had the trust to continue to fight until the end. This team will always try to do it.

"We didn't play well, especially here at home against Roma and CSKA Moscow but our team showed the personality and quality to qualify.

"At this stage of the competition when you play over 180 minutes it is very important to win the first game.

"After that, try not to concede goals here at home. If you can't, draw, but 0-0 is better than 1-1.

"Our team is also demonstrating we are playing better away than we did last year.

"I don't think that last year we changed our style. Maybe we couldn't do what we tried to do. As I say, we had played 19 games in two months. So we tried to play another way.

"The main thing for our team is to try to fight for the possession of the ball, that's very important. We need to have the ball as long as we can. After that, give good distribution to take Barcelona as near to their box as we can."

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Manuel Pellegrini