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Manchester City

Manchester CityManchester City
Aston VillaAston Villa
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 By Simon Curtis

Man City stagnation hits home in season of underachievement

The ESPN FC team discuss who, if anyone, can challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title next season, as Ian Darke believes Arsenal may be best fit to challenge.

On Monday morning, Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City sit in second place in the Premier League table -- level on points with Arsenal but ahead on goal difference, albeit one game behind. After seeing off Aston Villa 3-2 at the weekend, just, the Chilean was then widely quoted as saying: "It is no shame if City finish second."

Indeed, City have spent the majority of the season in second. Even during a brief spell at Christmas when they caught leaders Chelsea and -- with identical points, goal difference...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Man City the less error-prone in calamitous affair with Villa

Substitute Fernandinho struck a late winner as Manchester City killed off an Aston Villa comeback to claim a frantic 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Fernandinho bags the late winner as Manchester City move up to second ahead of Sunday's results.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini reacted to his side's last minute 3-2 win over Aston Villa, where he felt his side were far more dominant.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood explains his side had real belief to secure maximum points from Manchester City, but indicates Villa gifted Manuel Pellegrini's side a few goals.

MANCHESTER, England -- Three observations from the Etihad where Manchester City emerged victorious 3-2 over Aston Villa in an error-prone affair.

1. City win calamitous game

Four goalkeeping errors, and the winner scored after abject failure to clear a corner. This was no game for defensive purists. Jose Mourinho should scoff at the organisational chaos on show.

Fernandinho's acrobatic winner put Manchester City within two wins of reaching next season's Champions League, while Aston Villa...

Pellegrini 'deserves more respect,' not solely to blame - Zabaleta

The ESPN FC team discuss who, if anyone, can challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title next season, as Ian Darke believes Arsenal may be best fit to challenge.

Pablo Zabaleta has told Manuel Pellegrini's critics that the Manchester City manager "deserves more respect" and insists the Chilean cannot be held solely responsible for their plight.

Pellegrini is under pressure after City have struggled to defend their Premier League title and have lost six of their last 11 matches.

But right-back Zabaleta said City's players have to share the blame for a disappointing season and accepted that many of them have not hit the heights this year.

"The manager...