• Champions League

Pellegrini blunder scandalous - Hamann

ESPN staff
December 12, 2013
Asleep at the wheel?

Former Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann has accused manager Manuel Pellegrini of making a "cock-up" that could cost the club millions of pounds.

City beat Bayern Munich 3-2 in the Champions League on Tuesday but afterwards Pellegrini said he thought they needed to win by three clear goals to top the group and thus get an easier tie in the last 16.

Unaware that a 4-2 win would have sufficed, Pellegrini left top scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench, and Hamann said it was "ridiculous" and "scandalous" that the City boss and his coaching staff did not know the scoreline they needed.

Hamann, who made over 100 appearances for Bayern and was a Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005, told talkSPORT: "Pellegrini thought they needed to win by three goals - 5-2.

"If they'd scored another goal he probably would have brought on Sergio Aguero when in fact then another goal for Bayern [to make it 4-3] would have seen it change at the top of the group again.

"It shows the cock-up and it shouldn't have happened. The whole City coaching staff haven't covered themselves in glory here. It's a poor effort.

"The manager wasn't aware. Well, I'm sorry, Mr Pellegrini, they say the manager is only as good as his backroom staff. He must have had six, seven, eight people around him. As a player, you don't tell the boss: 'Bring on Aguero.' Brian Kidd or one of the coaches has to say: 'If we score one more, we win the group.'

"For none of them to know and make him aware the magnitude another goal would have had is ridiculous and scandalous in a way."

Because City finished second in the group, they will be drawn against one of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.

Had they beaten Bayern 4-2 to top their pool, they would have faced Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Schalke, Zenit Saint-Petersburg or AC Milan in the first knockout stage.

Hamann added: "Bayern made £60-70 million by winning the Champions League. Going out at the last 16 is worth millions and millions.

"I watched the game on TV and thought: 'Why they are not being more urgent to get a fourth?' It would have made a huge difference. It might not have happened but they should have had a go."

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