Bullish Roberto Mancini not giving up on title battle

Man City were held to a 2-2 draw by Liverpool at Eastlands yesterday.

Brendan Rodger and, front, Roberto Mancini yesterday.
Brendan Rodger and, front, Roberto Mancini yesterday.
Image: Getty images

MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER Roberto Mancini has refused to concede the Premier League title race is over following a 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Sergio Aguero was once again the saviour for City with his strike 12 minutes from time ensuring his side escaped with a point in what was a thrilling encounter at Etihad Stadium.

Despite the result seeing City fall nine points behind league leaders Manchester United, Mancini does not believe the gap is insurmountable and still holds hope his side can defend their title.

“Absolutely not,” the Italian said after being asked whether he thought the Premier League crown was out of City’s reach. “Two years ago Chelsea were nine points behind and when they went to play at Old Trafford two games from the end (of the season) they were only two points behind.

“Two games and the championship is reopened. I don’t think this is finished but probably now we have to win all the games, but if not then 11 or 12 games. But in football this can happen sometimes. Last year we recovered eight points in six games so I don’t know why it can’t happen this year.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers was ecstatic with his side’s performance. The result sees them consolidate seventh place on the table, but Rodgers was also left to lament a mistake from goalkeeper Pepe Reina that arguably cost his three points.

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The Spaniard charged out to the left side of his box to pressure Aguero, only for the City man to turn and slot the ball home from an improbable angle, with Rogers left disappointed with the veteran.

“That was an outstanding performance today coming here, which is notoriously difficult place where it is even difficult to score goals,” Rodgers added. “We were brilliant. The only disappointment is that we were outstanding in our work but mistakes have cost us.

“Aguero’s finish for the second was unbelievable but from our perspective we are bitterly disappointed he was in that situation. It was a mistake, everyone is clear on that, but I can’t fault the players.”

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