Premier League: Pellegrini at a loss to explain City’s travel woe

Julian Harris
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MANCHESTER City boss Manuel Pellegrini admitted yesterday that he is baffled by his team’s awful away record, after they fell to their fourth Premier League defeat on the road at the Stadium of Light.

A first-half goal from Phil Bardsley gave the Black Cats a crucial victory in their battle to climb out of the bottom three, with the home side surviving an onslaught of City attacks towards the end of the game.

“It’s incredible the way we lost this match,” said Pellegrini, whose men slipped to eighth, six points off leaders Arsenal. “This is a big setback and we need to improve our away form, even though I think we’ve played well in the games we’ve lost. Whether that’s down to decisions, missed chances or mistakes I’m not sure but it’s just not going our way.”

City could have been playing against 10 men after Sebastian Larsson dived in dangerously on Javi Garcia early on, yet he somehow escaped without even a booking.

And just a few minutes later Sunderland were ahead. Martin Demichelis and James Milner got in each other’s way chasing a long ball from Wes Brown, allowing Bardsley through, who cut onto his right foot and slotted into the far corner.

City pelted the Sunderland goal in the final 20 minutes and could have scored from a last-minute corner, but Joleon Lescott headed over.