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Pellegrini after clinching UCL semi: “I never understand the criticism we get”

Manchester City Training Session

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: Manuel Pellegrini the manager of Manchester City looks on during a training session at the City Football Academy on April 5, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is feeling plenty of swagger now that his side is onto its first UEFA Champions League semifinal.

The free-spending Mancunians have bristled at suggestions they’ve underachieved, and Pellegrini has been particularly ornery -- relatively speaking -- since Man City announced a pre-contract with current Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola.

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Now, with City two rounds away from a UCL crown, Pellegrini is letting loose a little more.

From the BBC:

“I never understand the criticism we get. We beat Bayern Munich in my first season and lost against Barcelona in the round-of-16. In the second season, we didn’t play well but beat Bayern Munich again and Roma, then we lost to Barca again. This season we won the group and now we beat PSG.

“I really don’t understand the criticism or they don’t understand Barcelona have better players.”

Is criticism of Pellegrini in European play fair or foul? His club lost to one of the two best teams in the world in consecutive seasons of UCL play, but have now moved as far as they’ve ever been. He’s led Villarreal to the UCL semis and Real Madrid to the quarters. That’s not miserable stuff by any means (Zip it, Florentino).

We know there are “random draws”, but does anyone expect City to not be drawn against Guardiola’s Bayern should the Bavarians maintain their first leg edge over Benfica?

Follow @NicholasMendola