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Pellegrini's Man City in worst form since last days of Hughes tenure

Manchester City are on their worst run of results since the slump that convinced them to sack Mark Hughes in 2009, increasing pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Pellegrini's position has been the subject of speculation after Monday night's 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace left the club fourth in the Premier League table.

City's defence of their title is now all but over as they trail leaders Chelsea by nine points, with the Blues also boasting a game in hand.

The Guardian reports Pellegrini's position in charge is "safe" although that could change depending on the club's performance in the run-in.

The Times, meanwhile, reports that "everything hinges on Pep Guardiola," with the Bayern Munich coach's availability potentially key to deciding Pellegrini's long-term fate.

While Pellegrini is expected to remain at the Etihad Stadium until at least the end of the current season, the numbers make for grim reading for him:

- City have lost five of their last seven games in all competitions. It is their worst run since losing five of six matches under Hughes in March and April 2009, when their team included Kelvin Etuhu and Javier Garrido.

- They have only won four of their last 14 matches. It is their worst run since a spell of four victories in 15 attempts in October, November and December 2009 led the club to decide to dispense with Hughes' services.

- They have lost their last four away games, including their last three in the Premier League. It is the first time since 2009 they have suffered four straight away defeats.

- They have had 70 and 74 percent of possession in their last Premier League away games, at Burnley and Crystal Palace, and lost both.

- After 31 league games last season, they had nine more points, had scored 21 more goals and had conceded one fewer.

- This is their lowest points total at this stage of the season since 2011.

- City only have the fourth-best defensive record in the Premier League. They have finished each of the last four seasons with statistically either the best or second-best defence.

- They have only kept three clean sheets in their last 18 games, including FA Cup and Champions League matches.

- Sergio Aguero has equalled his longest run without a goal for City. He has not scored in his last six appearances.

- Edin Dzeko has only scored twice in his last 22 appearances. He has only scored six goals for City this season. By this stage of last season, he had scored 21.

- Yaya Toure has scored eight Premier League goals this season. At this stage of last season, he had scored 18.

- The £40 million centre-back Eliaquim Mangala, who is the most expensive defender in the history of English football, has only started five of City's last 13 fixtures. He only began three of their eight Champions League games this season and has only played two games against teams in the top six of the Premier League.


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