Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Zabaleta accepts City's fate

14 April 2015, 07:25

London - Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has conceded the struggling English champions face a battle just to finish fourth in this season's Premier League.

City's hopes of a successful title defence had all but evaporated before Sunday's derby and a 4-2 defeat by Manchester United left Manuel Pellegrini's men 12 points behind leaders Chelsea, who have a match in hand, with just six games left to play.

But a sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions left them in fourth place and knowing they cannot afford to slip any lower if they are to play in next season's Champions League.

And if City's slump continues it's still possible for the likes of Southampton and Liverpool to overhaul them before the end of the season.

Yet New Year's Day saw City draw level on points with Chelsea at the summit after a 3-2 win over Sunderland.

"It is time to analyse what we are doing wrong and try to improve for the next few games," Zabaleta told reporters after the derby defeat.

"There are still 18 points to play for and we must be honest with ourselves and start to push hard, play better and win games, so we can get in the top four.

"When you lose those games it is always really hard, but that is football sometimes. Football is about momentum.

"It seems you lose confidence when you cannot get results and it was a really tough afternoon."

City made a fine start to their bid for a fifth successive derby win when Sergio Aguero put them 1-0 up in just the eighth minute.

But it did not take long for United to equalise through Ashley Young and Louis van Gaal's men pulled away through goals from Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling secured a convincing win before Aguero's 100th City goal reduced the deficit late on.

"It seems we lost confidence and were nervous," said Zabaleta. "Then it was hard for the team to react and we conceded the second goal.

"In the second half we didn't create many chances and when United scored the third goal the game was over."

Meanwhile City winger Jesus Navas was equally bemused by the way the team were undone by United.

"I don't really know (what happened)," the Spaniard said. "They scored the equaliser and they were back in the game. We started strong but it wasn't our day and we need to focus on the upcoming games.

"It's Champions League (qualification at stake) so we have to fight until the end to be in the top four."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...