Mancini waiting for United to crumble

Roberto Mancini remains confident his Manchester City side can win the Premier League title this season, despite being nine points behind their rivals Manchester United.

The Citizens managed to salvage a draw at home to Liverpool at the weekend after the Red Devils secured a 1-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage the day before.

Under Pressure

Despite losing further ground in the title race, the Mirror reports that the Italian believes that United may crack under pressure, just as they did in the final months of last season.

He said: “The title isn’t over, no. Absolutely no way – I believe we can still win it because of last season, and also for the way we have played this season.

“Two games and the Championship is open again. I don’t see why this can’t happen again this year. Last year we caught up eight points in six games, this year we still have 12 games.

“Probably now we need to win most if not all of the games, but this is football, it is not finished and we are confident it can happen.”

Aggrieved

The Etihad boss was left feeling aggrieved in the build-up to Liverpool’s equaliser as he felt there was a foul on Edin Dzeko shortly before former City striker, Daniel Sturridge, scored with a stunning strike.

The 48-year-old conceded City were lucky to escape with a point, but hopes Manchester United’s involvement in the Champions League may help his side.

He added: “Ok, Liverpool played better than us but the last month we have played really well and we are confident.

“For us it is important to play the derby with us two or three points behind and we can win it then. Remember, they still have the Champions’ League and FA Cup and there is still a long way to go, so no, it is not over.”

No laughing matter

Mancini made a joke after the match speaking about the foul on his Bosnian strike man. He said: “Probably they should have kicked the ball out because our players were distracted as they did not know the problem with [Edin] Dzeko, and anyway, it was a foul on him…and it should have been a red card if [Vincent] Kompany’s was against Arsenal!”

The injury the striker seemed to have faked was unlike the thigh knock Sturridge picked up, which rules him out of a return to the England set-up to face Brazil on Wednesday.

His manager, Brendan Rodgers said: “I think he’ll be a doubt for Wednesday now, which is a shame because he was outstanding, with the pace and power he had and the understanding he has already with [Luiz] Suarez.

“He is with the medics at the moment; he’ll have a chat with our doctors and see how serious it is. England may want to look at it, but at the moment he’s struggling.”

“Typical”

Sunday’s result was the second time in a week that Liverpool had lost two points from winning positions, and Rodgers admitted his frustration: “Yeah we deserved to win, it was an outstanding performance. We were absolutely brilliant here and maybe our only complaint is that it was typical of our season really – we were brilliant but our mistakes have cost us.

“That’s been the season for us, large parts of the game we had real dominance, but there was one costly mistake. And it was a mistake, let’s be clear about that, but I can’t fault the players.

“It was an absolutely brilliant finish by [Sergio] Aguero, unbelievable, but of course we are disappointed that he was even in that position to score. That’s all part of our growth though, and we will eliminate those mistakes, because we have shown the desire and commitment was there.”

The result meanwhile, leaves Liverpool in seventh place, five points behind Arsenal in sixth.

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