Pablo Zabaleta "so disappointed" by Sunderland defeat

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta admits that his side spurned a golden opportunity to gain ground in the title race at Sunderland last weekend.

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has admitted that his side blew a chance to gain ground on Premier League title rivals in a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland last weekend.

City slipped to their fourth away defeat of the campaign at at the Stadium of Light, with Manuel Pellegrini's side conceding 10 goals in six games on the road so far this season.

Zabaleta believes that watching Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all drop points last weekend only adds to the disappointment of their efforts on Wearside, while eyeing a positive response against Spurs after the international break.

He told the Daily Mail: "When you have a defeat like this, you want to play as quickly as you can, but we now go into an international break. After that we will face Spurs at home, which will be a crucial game for us.

"We are so disappointed. We had a great chance to reach third position, especially as we knew beforehand that Chelsea had dropped points on Saturday and that Spurs had lost just before us.

"It was a great opportunity, but unfortunately we didn't take it. After going ahead, Sunderland defended with 11 players behind the ball and closed the space every time. We had no space to create chances. But we need to focus on what we are doing and that means improving our performances away."

Pellegrini's men slipped to eighth in the Premier League with the Sunderland loss, six points off the pace set by leaders Arsenal.

Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Hull City at the Etihad Stadium on August 31, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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