Manuel Pellegrini happy to avoid Barcelona in Champions League

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini does not believe there would have been any “easy draw” in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after his side were paired with French giants Paris St Germain.

Manuel Pellegrini happy to avoid Barcelona in Champions League

City defeated Dynamo Kiev over two legs to reach the last eight of Europe’s elite competition for the first time.

However, if they are to stay on the road to the final in Milan in May, England’s last survivors must get the better of a club determined to prove themselves a Euro superpower, with PSG having eliminated Chelsea in the last 16.

While Pellegrini accepts avoiding holders Barcelona — who face fellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid — was preferable, no matter which other opponent came out of the pot at yesterday’s ’s draw in Nyon they would present a stern test.

“It is a difficult draw as always. When you are in the eight best teams of Europe, always it is a difficult draw,” Pellegrini said ahead of tomorrow’s derby with Manchester United.

“I have said that in this moment I think Barcelona is the team that makes the difference, all the other teams are the same. It is always a difficult game. You can’t expect less.

“You never know what is an easy draw. We are in the eight best teams, maybe one team can have less of a ‘name’ than another, but if they are in the same stage it is because they deserve it, they have eliminated important teams. You can’t have an easy draw.”

Pellegrini admitted he does have a little sympathy for under-fire United counterpart Louis van Gaal.

But Pellegrini has no doubt the Dutchman can handle the pressure.

Pellegrini said: “When you are managing big teams, you cannot expect not to receive criticism if you do not win and he has the experience to manage that situation.

“Always — and I am not only talking about Louis van Gaal — when a manager is in a bad moment, you want to support him.

“But I don’t think he has any problems, with the experience he has of managing the big teams in his career. He is not maybe in a good moment but he knows how to manage.”

Pellegrini remains hopeful captain Vincent Kompany could be back in action in around a month. The defender’s latest calf injury is a fresh one affecting his other leg, and not a recurrence of the problem that has already blighted his season.

Pellegrini said: “I’m talking with the doctor. I think Vincent has an injury in the other leg, not the same calf as last time. We’ll see in the way he improves but in maybe one month he can be ready. He can still play a part in the season.”

  • Champions League quarter-final draw:

Wolfsburg v Real Madrid.

Bayern Munich v Benfica.

Barcelona v Atletico

PSG v Manchester City

Ties to be played April 5/6 and 12/13

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