City could miss out on CL
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Manuel Pellegrini's long goodbye at Manchester City is turning sour. At the end of a week in which the team surrendered meekly in the Champions League semifinals, City was held 2-2 by Arsenal in the English Premier League to throw into doubt its return to Europe's elite competition next season.
A top-four finish is no longer in City's hands with one week left in the season.
Even more galling, its great rival - Manchester United - is the team that could grab City's Champions League qualification berth. Fourth-place City is two points clear of United, which has two games left - against West Ham and Bournemouth - to City's one.
"If you don't depend on what you can do, it's more difficult. But I think we deserve to be in the Champion League next year," said Pellegrini, who is being replaced by Pep Guardiola in the offseason after three years in charge.
Alexis Sanchez earned Arsenal a point with a 68th-minute equaliser at Etihad Stadium, consolidating his team's position in third. A draw at home to already-relegated Aston Villa on the final day will guarantee Arsenal a 20th straight top-four finish under Arsene Wenger.
After taking charge of his final home game as City manager, Pellegrini took to the microphone soon after the final whistle to say a final "thank you" to the club's fans. City's players stood in the centre circle, mostly with folded arms, to watch highlights of Pellegrini's tenure on the big screens.
Yet, only a few thousand fans stayed back after the game to bid Pellegrini farewell. The Chilean coach has won one Premier League title, the League Cup two times and guided City to the Champions League semifinals - the furthest the club has ever progressed in the competition.