Pellegrini doesn't go out with a bang in home tie
MANUEL Pellegrini could not conceal his disappointment after his final home game as Manchester City manager ended in a 2-2 stalemate with Arsenal on Sunday.
The result means that City's hopes of finishing in the Premier League's top four and qualifying for the Champions League are no longer in their own hands. It raises the prospect that Pellegrini's successor, Pep Guardiola, will start life at the club in the Europa League.
City must win at Swansea City in their final league game on Sunday and hope that Manchester United drop points in one of their two last games or that Arsenal lose at home to bottom club Aston Villa.
Addressing a half-full Etihad Stadium after the final whistle, Pellegrini told City's fans: "It was not the way we wanted to finish the season. We wanted to qualify for the final of the Champions League and win our game today, for the next Champions (League).
"But for me, they were three wonderful years of working, three unforgettable years. So all I can say to the fans is thanks for (everything). I will never forget you."
City twice led at a sun-soaked Etihad on Sunday, through Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne, only for Arsenal to hit back via goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.
While the Chilean addressed the fans, and with his players looking on, the home supporters unfurled a giant sky-blue banner bearing the message GRACIAS MANUEL (thanks in Spanish).
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised his outgoing City counterpart by saying: "I believe overall Manuel Pellegrini has done very well at Manchester City.
"When you look at the players today, how they fought for him, that is a great credit to a manager."