x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Manchester City’s away form worries Manuel Pellegrini

Premier League side lose to Sunderland 1-0 and Stoke City fight to 3-3 draw against Swansea City.

Manuel Pellegrini feels Manchester City are fast losing any chance of winning the Premier League title this season. Ian MacNicol / AFP
Manuel Pellegrini feels Manchester City are fast losing any chance of winning the Premier League title this season. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Manuel Pellegrini has warned that Manchester City’s bout of travel sickness could derail their Premier League title challenge.

City lost 1-0 at Sunderland for the fourth successive season on Sunday and have now taken only four points from a possible 18 on the road during the 2013/14 campaign.

Pellegrini was at a loss to explain how his team had come away from the Stadium of Light empty-handed after dominating for long periods, but conceded their title hopes could be dashed unless they can arrest the trend.

He said: “I am concerned because we are losing too many points away and, of course, that’s very difficult if you don’t win away to try to fight for the Premier League.

“But I don’t think we are playing badly, so we must have a reaction, we must improve to make sure we are going to win.”

Former Manchester United full-back Phil Bardsley’s 21st-minute strike – his second goal in five days – proved enough to claim three points for Sunderland after he shrugged off James Milner and curled a shot across Costel Pantilimon, the goalkeeper, and inside the far post.

Victory was another step in the right direction for Sunderland under Gus Poyet, the new manager.

The team have won two of their last three matches and have opened up a three-point gap from 20th-placed Crystal Palace in the table.

An ecstatic Poyet told reporters: “They were outstanding. I am very proud, very tired like I played the game.

“If you can see the players standing on the bench everyone was like they were playing the game that is how much it means to us.”

City’s failure to score represented Sunderland’s first clean sheet this season.

Swansea City 3 Stoke City 3

Swansea City and Stoke City served up a thrilling 3-3 draw at Liberty Stadium on Sunday night, with the Welsh side looking like they had completed a remarkable comeback only to be denied all three points in stoppage time.

Stoke had raced into a 2-0 half-time lead through goals from Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ireland. Wilfried Bony began the fightback for the home side before strikes from Nathan Dyer and a second from Bony put them ahead for the first time.

However, Stoke managed to secure the draw when Swansea were penalised for a handball in the area and Charlie Adam dispatched the spot kick.

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