Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confessed that his side’s title hopes have suffered a big blow after a shock 2-2 home draw with bottom of the table Sunderland.

The Sky Blues entered the encounter having slipped to seven points adrift of league leaders Liverpool after losing at Anfield on Sunday, and knew that a win was vital in their quest to keep pace in the battle for English football’s top prize.

But after taking an early lead through Fernandinho, City found themselves 2-1 down with just minutes to play after Connor Wickham’s quick-fire double.

Samir Nasri then pounced late on to level the scores and salvage a point for Pellegrini.

After the final whistle, the Chilean admitted that the result has dented their chances of lifting the trophy in a few weeks’ time, but he maintains that his side will continue to fight:

“Of course, our chances are now less. Three points was very important for us tonight, but we will continue fighting,” he is quoted by the club’s official website.

“I don’t think we played with any less confidence following the game against Liverpool. We have five games more in which to play. Liverpool has a better chance than us (of winning the league) and Chelsea but we will continue fighting until the end.

“Before the match I was worried about this game. Playing against a team fighting relegation is very difficult and we had only four days to get over the Liverpool game.

“At the end of the season we will analyse. We have five games more to play and we will continue to have chances. My duty is now to talk to the players and to win the last five games. This team was six points behind the leaders two years ago and won the title.”