Manuel Pellegrini cannot stop smirking in press conference as he looks ahead to Real Betis clash vs Man Utd

FORMER Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini couldn’t stop smiling – as the Real Betis boss looked ahead to facing Manchester United by looking back to their humiliation at Liverpool.

Pellegrini was “not sad” at United‘s fate and will be even happier if his Spanish team pull off a shock in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

PAReal Betis’ skipper and winger Joaquin joins manager Manuel Pellegrini for a laugh in the press conference ahead of their big tie at Old Trafford[/caption]

He only saw the first half of Sunday’s match at Anfield on TV before Betis played out a 0-0 draw with Real Madrid.

Liverpool were only 1-0 up at that point but ran out shock 7-0 winners.

Pellegrini said: “It really was unbelievable.

“I only watched the first 45 minutes because after that we had to play Real Madrid and didn’t see the other six goal.

“I understood immediately what would happen to Manchester United because of their rivalry with Liverpool. Because of the amount of goals, I knew it would not be easy for them.

“But also as a Manchester City fan, I was not very sad about what happened.”

Pellegrini knows what it is like to inflict such pain on United. He beat David Moyes’ side 4-1 at The Etihad and 3-0 at Old Trafford during  his first season in 2013-14.

That was also the season he took the Premier League title back across town as United struggled in their first campaign after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, which saw Moyes sacked before it ended.


Pellegrini also won the League Cup with City in 2013-14 and 2015-16.

He said: “I had three unbelievable years as City manager where we were able to get the better of them and win the title.”

But the Chilean, 69, does not believe Sunday’s result will have a bearing on tonight’s clash.

In-form Betis are currently fifth in the LaLiga table having won three straight games before that draw with Real last weekend.

Pellegrini said: “I do not think they will start the game thinking they have a 7-0 defeat inside them.

“We must be the best Betis we can be and get a good result here.

“We are in a good stage. It is fundamental that we continue to grow and make the next step.

“We always have that ambition to take that further step.”