Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has admitted that Manchester City suffered “a complete disaster” after being held at home by bottom club Sunderland.
The 2-2 draw, three days after the 3-2 defeat by Liverpool, leaves City’s Barclays Premier League title hopes in tatters.
Fernandinho had opened the scoring for City less than two minutes into the game but in the end Manuel Pellegrini’s tired-looking side were relieved to rescue a point.
“It’s a very disappointing result,” said Fernandinho. “The whole team is disappointed about the result, especially in the way we played. The result was a complete disaster for us.
“We started well and scored the goal, but for 50 minutes after that we lost control of the game and they played better than us. Right at the end we tried to score another goal but it wasn’t enough.
“We scored after two minutes but then changed our style of game and paid for it. They had three clear chances in the first half and then scored two in the second half, when we lost our position on the pitch.
“We need to keep our heads up and think about the next game, when we cannot make a silly mistake, as we did.”
Fernandinho also conceded that fatigue may have contributed to City falling away from the title challenge. Premier League leaders Liverpool have played 13 fewer games than City this season because they have not been involved in Europe.
“It can make some difference because we have been going for the Champions League, the Premier League and both cups and maybe our players are feeling a little tired,” added Fernandinho.
“Maybe it has made a difference, but our team was good, especially in December and January.”
The Brazilian however believes that City are still in with a chance of the title.
He said: “Our focus has to be on West Brom on Monday, and that will be a massive match for us.
“It’s really very hard, after the bad result against Liverpool. But we have to keep our head up and now need to look to West Brom here at home.
“We believe we can win the title. Chelsea and Liverpool have four games and they may drop some points – we think we can still win the title.
“We need to keep on – they can drop some points in their games and we need to win five games. We will see what happens in the end, but we need to recover our motivation for the next game and beat West Brom.”
Pellegrini, meanwhile, is also refusing to throw in the towel and is keeping his fingers crossed that David Silva will be able to shake off an ankle problem for West Brom’s visit on Easter Monday.
He said: “David is with a problem in his ankle. He played the last two games in that condition but it was a game each week.
“Playing after three days he couldn’t do it against Sunderland. We will see he is ok on Sunday for Monday. I hope he can play.
“We have five games more to play and we will continue to have chances.
“My duty is now to talk to the players and to win the last five games. This team was six points behind the leaders two years ago and won the title.”