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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 24 February, 2019

Mancini: Man City defence needs to improve

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers attached no blame to Martin Skrtel, after his side’s concession of a late goal yesterday.

Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini on the touchline during yesterday's game.
Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini on the touchline during yesterday's game.

MANCHESTER CITY BOSS Roberto Mancini demanded improvement from his defence after they conceded two goals for the fourth consecutive game.

City came back from a goal down twice against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday to earn a 2-2 draw.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel gave his side the lead 11 minutes before half-time before Yaya Toure equalised just past the hour mark.

A superb Luis Suarez free-kick three minutes later looked to have earned the Reds three points, but Skrtel went from hero to villain 10 minutes from the end with a dreadful backpass that allowed Carlos Tevez to secure City a point.

The Premier League champions conceded twice on the final day of last season, and have done so in all three games this campaign, including the Community Shield clash against Chelsea.

Mancini called for this run to end, while also complaining about the free-kick awarded to Liverpool which led to the Reds’ second goal.

“I think that it’s time we finished conceding two goals every game”, he told Sky Sports.

“Before this (happens) we need to work. Today the two goals were set-pieces, the second goal wasn’t a free-kick, it was like the goal we conceded here last year, but we do need to improve.”

The 47-year-old did praise his team’s character though, saying he was pleased with the manner in which his players fought back despite ending up with what he feels is a disappointing result.

“I’m disappointed because when you don’t win you are always disappointed,” he said.

“But you know that at Anfield it is difficult to play and in the end if you go and take one point like today, go two times down and score two goals, yeah, we showed good character.”

Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, refused to blame Skrtel for costing his side the win.

“There’s no blame to Martin Skrtel, I’d rather have players wanting to get on to the ball,” Rodgers said.

“The courage he has to get on the football and try to play is what is the most important thing.”

Despite the draw, Rodgers was buoyed by the performance of his team.

“It was a brilliant performance I thought,” he said. “There were a lot of questions asked of the team coming into such a big game but I thought the players were incredible and sometimes the best team doesn’t win, and I think we were the better team.

“From what I’ve seen today, last week was a one-off and today I thought they were terrific.”

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