MANCHESTER // Manuel Pellegrini has defended his record at Manchester City as he prepares to leave the club.
Pellegrini will take charge of City for the last time on Sunday as they travel to Swansea City for their final Premier League game of the season.
Pellegrini has won three trophies in his three years in charge, including the Premier League title in 2014, but form in his last season has been inconsistent and a Uefa Champions League place for the 2016/17 campaign has not yet been secured.
But when asked at his final pre-match news conference Thursday how he felt about his time at the club, the 62-year-old Chilean spoke proudly about his achievements during his time in Manchester.
Pellegrini said: “If we make a summary of the three seasons I was in charge here, we were the team that had more points, we were the team that had better performances as a manager, we were the team that in the three seasons we always scored the most goals.
“The only thing that we couldn’t be the best at is our defence – that was Chelsea, they conceded just four fewer goals than our team – but the goal difference is huge between us and all the other teams.”
Pellegrini believed that his City side had played entertaining football consistently throughout his tenure in charge, and that was a source of pride to him as he prepares to move on.
“During the three seasons, the fans always tell me that they enjoy our games,” he added.
“Of course, it’s impossible to play all the games well, but I think the amount of goals we scored in the three seasons, I think it’s 50 or 60 more than any other team, so I think that’s an entertaining team, and a team that wins titles and one that has progressed in the Champions League.
“It’s about a style, and for me it’s important to be the highest-scoring team for three seasons, to be always in the Champions League and to win three titles.”
Since Pellegrini took charge in 2013, City have accrued more points than their rivals, with Arsenal’s 222 the closest to their haul of 230.
They have scored 255 goals, 40 better than next best Liverpool, and conceded 115, a figure bettered only by Chelsea (111), Arsenal (113) and Manchester United (114).
“I’m happy, but I think you must always think you can do better,” Pellegrini said.
Following Manchester United’s loss at West Ham United in midweek, City are now in charge of their own destiny as they seek to secure a top-four finish.
Because of their superior goal difference, realistically they only need a point against Swansea. Achieving that would be Pellegrini’s parting gift to Pep Guardiola, who takes over in the summer after he finishes his commitments with current employers Bayern Munich
Asked how he would like to be remembered, Pellegrini said: “For a team that always wanted to play good football, to always try to score, not just trying to get a result and when you score a goal, the game is finished.
“We have always been in the Champions League spots for 37 games, so I think we deserve to be there, and we played very well against Arsenal, so I think we deserve to qualify.”
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