Champions League: Pablo Zabaleta admits Manchester City struggling in Europe
Last Updated: 23/10/14 9:38am
Pablo Zabaleta admits it will be 'hard' for Manchester City to reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The reigning Premier League champions have collected just two points from their opening three fixtures in Group E.
That miserly return leaves them behind free-scoring Bayern Munich and Italian side Roma.
It will be hard for us to qualify for the round of 16 with only two points from three games, and that’s not good enough.
City still have to take in meetings with the top two, along with a return date against CSKA Moscow at the Etihad Stadium, but face a tough task to extend their European adventure.
Zabaleta concedes as much, with City’s struggles leaving them in danger of failing to make the last-16 for the third time in four attempts.
The Argentine full-back said after Tuesday’s disappointing 2-2 with CSKA, which saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side surrender a two-goal lead: “It will be hard for us to qualify for the round of 16 with only two points from three games, and that’s not good enough.
“It was really painful for everyone to only draw. We are much better than we are showing in this competition. For us to go through now, it is very complicated.
“We still have a chance and we will do everything to qualify but if you don’t win games you can’t get through the group.”
Zabaleta added: “It is so frustrating.
“We were 2-0 up at half-time and that would have been a good result for us. We spoke about keeping focused on the game at the break.
“Sometimes when you are playing in an empty stadium you can relax and I think in the end it was like that. It’s difficult to explain why.
“It’s not the first time this has happened and it’s something we need to sort out as soon as possible.
“We are one team when we play with the right intensity, with the ball. But when we start to give the ball away so cheaply, we are not the same team. It’s then that we don’t know how to control the game.”