Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini disappointed with Newcastle showing: ‘That was not the same team from Saturday!’
The Citizens’ St James’ Park showing fell far short of the standard set in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Chelsea and it was a result which left his side 12 points adrift of leaders Leicester and seven behind second-placed Tottenham.
Semi-finalists City took the lead inside 15 minutes as Sergio Aguero netted his 100th Premier League goal – which should have been disallowed for offside.
Vurnon Anita’s first strike in more than two years levelled it after the half-hour mark and substitute Georginio Wijnaldum was denied a stoppage time winner by keeper Joe Hart.
“That was not the same team as on Saturday, without any doubt,” Pellegrini said.
“Maybe we couldn’t recover so soon after three days to have the same pace that we had against Chelsea
“We knew also before the game that it was going to be a very tough game because Newcastle are playing not to be relegated next season. They had just won their last game, so it was a difficult game as we expected.”
Pellegrini was at least able to revel in Aguero’s achievement with only Newcastle old boy Alan Shearer having reached a Premier League century in fewer than his 147 appearances.
He said: “I am happy for him because it’s not easy to score 100 goals in the amount of games that Sergio did it.
“He’s second in the history of the Premier League, so I am happy for him and I hope he will continue the same way until the end of the season.”