Ex-England captain Alan Shearer says he does not understand why Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is “moaning” about fixture congestion.
Pellegrini started six teenagers in Sunday’s 5-1 FA Cup defeat at Chelsea, resting his regulars for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Dynamo Kiev.
“Barcelona played on Saturday and they face Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday,” said Shearer.
“It is the same amount of time as City, but they didn’t rest any players.”
The ex-Newcastle manager added: “I don’t get the talk of resting players. City are – and want to be – a very big club on the global stage.
“They’ve got more resources than anyone. I never see Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo wanting to be left out.
“It seems a big issue in our country.”
Pellegrini insisted he was “forced” to prioritise Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Dynamo Kiev and had previously warned he would select a shadow side for the cup tie with Chelsea.
He was true to his word as goals from Diego Costa, Willian, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and Bertrand Traore saw Chelsea ease through.
Senior players Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala, Fabian Delph, Kevin de Bruyne and Bacary Sagna all missed the game with injury.
Pellegrini said: “I don’t think I need to make a defence of my team selection. We played two rounds before this and won 3-0 at Norwich City and 4-0 at Aston Villa with strong teams.”
City wrote to the Football Association to complain about the scheduling of Sunday’s match, which was played three days before City travel to Ukraine.
“We did the correct thing and made the right decision,” said Pellegrini. “The club tried everything possible to try and play it at a different time.
“We do not think the Champions League is more important than the FA Cup, but we had no choice.”