MX23RW : Monday, September 20 14:26:17| >> :60:3194:3194:
May 1, 2016 at 4.30pm UK at St Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 31,472
Southampton
4-2
Man CityManchester City
Long (25'), Mane (28', 57', 68')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Iheanacho (44', 78')

Manuel Pellegrini defends Manchester City team selection

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends his decision to name a weakened team for his side's Premier League match against Southampton.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has defended his decision to name a weakened side for this afternoon's Premier League clash against Southampton.

The Chilean made eight changes from the team that drew with Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, with one eye on the return fixture at the Bernabeu next week.

Sadio Mane's hat-trick helped the Saints to a 4-2 victory over the second-string visitors at St Mary's to leave City just four points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United having played a game more, but Pellegrini insists that he does not regret his decision.

"I would do exactly the same again because we have an important game on Wednesday to play for the Champions League final," Pellegrini told reporters.

"We continue in the Premier League in the next two games to be in the top four so that was a risk, but one we also had to take. I was very disappointed, especially in the defending. It was the same players who played other games.

"We knew before the game it was a risk but we have to take those risks because we have an important game on Wednesday. Maybe if we had played on Saturday we could have put more players in. I always say the best way to prepare for the next game is to win and that's why we did so well before Paris Saint-Germain."

City take on Madrid in the Spanish capital on Wednesday with the tie finely poised at 0-0 following last week's first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo watches on from the sidelines during his side's Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City on April 26, 2016
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