Arsenal has opened the possibility of a UEFA Champions League slot for Manchester United, after rallying twice to share points with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium Sunday evening.
City's destiny is now out of their hands, with Manchester United assured of a top-four finish if they win their final two games against West Ham and Bournemouth, but Pellegrini, who was overseeing his last home game in charge, was defiant in defeat.
Pellegrini won the Premier League title and the League Cup in his first season in charge at the club, but has presided over two testing campaigns since then and is not yet assured of a place in next season's Champions League. We had everything in our hands to be the best and I believe if we play like we did against Arsenal we are the best team - but we have to play like this all season.
With the Premier League title now wrapped up by unlikely winners Leicester, attention is turning to next season for Arsenal who have the tough prospect of challenging the Foxes and improved Spurs, Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea and City squads.
Arsenal, with Mesut Ozil not involved due to a hip injury, offered little by way of attacking threat, and at the half-time whistle had managed just one effort on goal.
The matches will be shown on a delay, with all 3pm Saturday kick-offs airing at 1pm local time on Sunday (if they were to go out live, they would air in the small hours of Sunday morning).
Having been criticised for their limp display against Real Madrid in midweek, City started with much more goal and intensity at the Etihad.
GUNNER: Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring Arsenal's equaliser. If you talk about pressure, maybe on Wednesday we failed under pressure but I can not regret or complain about anything from the team today, especially in the first 45 minutes.
"I know Mancini, he's a confrontational guy and will tell you if he's not happy".
Moments after, City appeared poised to leapfrog Arsenal into third place and all but end United's top-four hopes when Kevin De Bruyne fired in from the edge of the area in the 51st minute.
"What matters more than anything else is that City have progressed and the confidence that comes from that", he said.
Sagna said City should never have been in this position. I think Manchester City put a lot into the game and we responded. "We need to change that mentality, to be strong, to be a big club".