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Oct 2, 2013

Hart mistakes concern Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini is concerned that Joe Hart keeps making mistakes after the goalkeeper blundered to help Bayern Munich beat Manchester City in the Champions League.

• Jolly: Hart failure leads to City woe
Brewin: Three things learned
Mooney: Hart replacements

Hart pushed Franck Ribery’s seventh-minute shot into the back of his net as the European champions defeated Pellegrini’s side 3-1.

And it followed errors that cost City goals in their Premier League defeats to Cardiff and Aston Villa, with Fraizer Campbell and Andreas Weimann the beneficiaries, while he was also blamed for a goal James Morrison scored for Scotland against England in August.

“Of course I am worried about the mistakes,” said City manager Pellegrini, who was also annoyed at the way Thomas Muller escaped from Gael Clichy to score Bayern’s second and Arjen Robben pounced after Fernandinho lost the ball to get the third.

Pellegrini was also critical of his side’s performance, saying: “The three goals, I think we can do better, not only the goalkeeper.

“We played really bad. That’s not the team we are seeing in the Premier League and that was the worst thing. I was surprised by the game we played.”

Pellegrini defended his decision to drop City’s player-of-the-year Pablo Zabaleta and bring in Micah Richards for just his second start of the season.

While Richards was pitted against Ribery, Pellegrini did not blame him, explaining: “I don’t think Ribery was the key factor to win the game. I don’t think Micah Richards has the responsibility – the same as all the other players, but I don’t think he has any special problems.”

Meanwhile, Richards admits Manchester City must go "back to the drawing board" after their thrashing at the hands of Bayern.

Although he admits City's recent tough fixtures were a contributing factor to their poor display, Richards conceded his side were well below par.

"We knew they're a really good team and they showed that tonight, that's why they're champions," he told Sky Sports. "I thought Ribery and Robben were excellent. They didn't play with a striker as such and the movement in midfield was where the game was won.

"We tried. We've had a lot of games and there were a few tired legs tonight but we're a lot better than that. It's back to the drawing board now."

Perhaps the game's most influential player, Robben, believes Bayern put in the perfect display and was surprised by City's lack of fight.

"It was very good, the first 70 or 80 minutes in particular we played terrific football," he said. "To be so dominant against such a big team, we didn't expect an easy game like that. I think it's also a big compliment to our team but I expected a bit more from City.

"We didn't give them any space, we pressed them and they had a lot of balls they kicked away and we could start again. They sometimes gave us a little too much space and we are a team who can use the space very well.

"We have to stay with both feet on the ground, it's only the beginning of the season but we can be happy with tonight's performance. You have to enjoy it, when you've played such football it's really nice."

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