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No Guardiola grudge for Pellegrini

01 Oct 2013 18:46:55

No Guardiola grudge for Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no interest in turning his side's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich into a personal battle with Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola brings Bayern, the German and European champions, to the Etihad Stadium in the second round of fixtures in Group D this week.

Pellegrini is still to get the better of the former Barcelona boss, with whom he clashed regularly in Spain.

Barcelona beat Pellegrini's Real Madrid twice during the 2009-10 season, when the Catalans pipped the Bernabeu giants to the title.

With Malaga, Pellegrini lost all four games against Barca between 2010 and 2012. His only inkling of success in a Guardiola battle was a 3-3 draw at the Nou Camp with Villarreal in 2009.

Now in charge at City, Pellegrini has a much more impressive squad at his disposal but his only concern is eking three points out of them and not finally outmanoeuvring Guardiola.

The Chilean said: "It's always about the players. I don't play against Pep Guardiola. It is Bayern against Manchester City.

"The key is always the performance of the important players. They must appear in important games and normally it's the key that makes the difference."

Pellegrini's strong Champions League reputation, having taken Villarreal to the semi-finals and Malaga to the last eight, was one of the chief reasons City recruited him in the summer.

Guardiola, who has won the competition twice as a manager, had previously been linked with City but had long been appointed by Bayern when the Eastlands vacancy eventually arose.


PA

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