Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini blamed his side’s lacklustre defence for their 4-2 loss to Southampton on Sunday.
Sadio Mane inflicted the most damage for Southampton as he scored a hat-trick, while Shane Long also found the back of the net.
Kelechi Iheanacho scored City’s two goals, but his efforts went in vain as the Citizens were unable to overtake Arsenal in third place on the Premier League standings.
“I think I had to select a team thinking about who plays on Wednesday,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports. “Maybe if we play on Saturday we can have different options. We’ll analyse after the game [if anyone earned the right to play Wednesday].
“I was disappointed in the way we defended, they were less concentrated and we had a lot of problems. In the first half, we had another key chance to score, and I think we started the second half well until the corner – that was a decisive goal. After that, it was very difficult.”
City will face Arsenal on Sunday and Pellegrini is eager for his side to claim three points in order to boost their chances of finishing in the top four this season.
“It [the top-four race] is exactly the same – we can depend on what we do in the next two games,” he said. “We are three points behind Arsenal – if we beat them we’ll be third, waiting for the last game.”