A second-half Fernandinho strike drew City level after goal-machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Adrien Rabiot turned the tide in favour of French champions Paris Saint-German’s following a Kevin de Bruyne opener.
Ibrahimovic’s leveller was the direct consequence of a howler from midfielder Fernando, while City were also indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart for saving a penalty from the enigmatic frontman after Bacary Sagna’s foul on David Luiz.
“If we want to win we cannot make those kind of mistakes,” said Pellegrini. “But I think the team had personality throughout the whole game to try and win the game.
“We tried to score goals from the beginning. Because of the way we play, we are not used to playing to try and draw, we try to win the game from the beginning. Some of our mistakes did not allow us to win this game.
“It is a game of 180 minutes and we must be intelligent and not make mistakes. We must finish this game at home but it’s important to have the personality to play the game, whichever pitch you’re on. It was a good result tonight but now we must try to finish it at home.”
Ibrahimovic was guilty of frittering away a glorious chance to hand PSG the lead as his 12th minute penalty, awarded for Sagna’s foul on ex-Chelsea defender Luiz, was turned away by Hart.
The Sweden striker’s night failed to get any better as he also blazed over the bar while through on goal after City centre-half Nicolas Otamendi had conceded cheap possession upfield.
City took full advantage seven minutes before the break as De Bruyne swept past PSG stopper Kevin Trapp for his 14th goal of the season following Fernando’s interception and an incisive Fernandinho pass.
But Fernando was very much the villain of the piece moments later as he collected a goal-kick from Hart on the edge of his own penalty area and lazily attempted a pass across goal which rebounded into an empty net off the toe of Ibrahimovic.
PSG regained the lead shortly before the hour mark when Rabiot, who spent six months in City’s academy as a 13-year-old, scored his third Champions League goal this term by prodding home the rebound after Hart repelled Edinson Cavani’s header.
City conjured another twist inside the final 20 minutes as a deflected Fernandinho shot trickled over the line after PSG defenders Serge Aurier and Thiago Silva made heavy weather of dealing with a Sagna cross.