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Pellegrini hopes CSKA have learned

29 Aug 2014 13:16:54

Pellegrini hopes CSKA have learned

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hopes CSKA Moscow have learned lessons after their punishment for fans' racist behaviour last season.

City will take on the Russian club in the Champions League for the second successive year after again being paired in the same group.

Their meeting in Moscow in October last year was overshadowed by racist taunts aimed at City midfielder Yaya Toure.

CSKA were punished with a partial stadium closure by European governing body UEFA but, following a further offence, the Russians will begin this season's competition playing behind closed doors.

That sanction will have been served by the time City return to the Khimki Arena on October 21 and Pellegrini hopes the problems are now in the past.

Pellegrini said: "What I hope is that they will learn about this and I suppose this year we will not have any problems, not only with Yaya - I remember the pitch was in a very bad condition.

"I hope for CSKA Moscow it is a lesson they will learn."

In addition to CSKA, City will also take on another of last year's opponents in Bayern Munich. It is the third time in four seasons City have been drawn alongside the German giants.

All three of those sides are domestic champions while the fourth side in Group E are Serie A runners-up Roma.

Much like the 2012 grouping of Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax, it is another tough draw for City, whose UEFA co-efficient means they do not get an easy ride.

Pellegrini, however, does not sense any injustice for a side that has won the Barclays Premier League in two of the past three seasons.

He said: "I think it is a similar group to last year, a difficult group with Roma also in our group.

"Maybe another draw is not as difficult as our group, but we must qualify the same.

"I don't know if there is a better system than they use now for the Champions League.

"Maybe you think one team can be more difficult than others but I always talk about the example of when I was at Malaga.

"Everyone wanted to play against Malaga but we were the first in the group, before AC Milan and important clubs.

"I reached the semi-finals with Villarreal and the quarter-finals with Malaga.

"Maybe they are teams with lesser names but they are strong teams."


PA

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