The dust has still not settled on college boy Manuel Pellegrini’s monumental brain fart this week which cost Manchester City the chance to claim top spot in their Champions League group. We won’t know the full extent of the damage done until Monday’s last 16 draw, but with Barça, Madrid, PSG, Dortmund and Atleti now lying in wait (rather than Galatasaray, Olympiacos, Zenit, Schalke, Leverkeusen or Milan) I think it is fair to say that life is more difficult for the Sheikh’s XI than it might have been.
I have to laugh at some quarters of the press describing the incident in rather grandiose terms as a numerical miscalculation or a mathematical error. It’s not like Pellegrini was tasked with solving the Reimann Hypothesis or determining whether there is a finite upper bound on the multiplicities of the entries greater than 1 in Pascal’s triangle here. He didn’t even have to carry the one.
Perhaps wary of a grilling on his Times Tables at the next press conference, Rafa Benitez has come out in defence of the City boss by using his column in the Independent to lament the lack of support from backroom staff in tackling the mathematical conundrum the Sky Blues were faced with in Munich. Ok Rafa. If only he had Stephen Hawking, Archimedes and Good Will Hunting crunching the numbers on the bench this whole sorry affair could have been avoided, eh?
Alternatively he could have asked literally anyone who had even a passing interest in the result of the match. Win by 3 and finish top. Simples.
Maybe bring your calculator to the second leg in the Camp Nou in March just in case Manu!!