Mancini: The title race is not over
SPORT / 04 Feb '13, 12:42amBy: Dominic King
London – Roberto Mancini has warned his Manchester City’s players they will need to win all their remaining 13 games to stand any chance of retaining the title.
After being held to a 2-2 draw by Liverpool, the Italian was in no mood to throw in the towel even though City emerged from the latest round of fixtures nine points adrift of Manchester United.
Manchester City are nine points behind Manchester United, but they're not giving up of the title race. Credit: REUTERS
Sergio Aguero earned a point after a Steven Gerrard rocket had put Liverpool 2-1 up, and Mancini, who was furious with referee Anthony Taylor for not awarding a foul in the build-up to Liverpool’s first, said City must improve significantly.
“The title isn’t over, no. Absolutely no way,” said Mancini. “Why? Because of last season, and also for the way we have played this season. In two games, it could open up again. But we probably need to win most, if not all, of the games.
“Last year we caught up eight points in six games, this year we still have 13 games and United still have the FA Cup and Champions League. It is not finished.”
Mancini suggested Liverpool lacked sportsmanship in the moments before Daniel Sturridge cancelled out Edin Dzeko’s opener with a magnificent strike.
Dzeko was caught from behind by Daniel Agger and wanted a free-kick, which wasn’t given. He rolled around on the floor as Liverpool kept the ball, not getting up until Sturridge smashed a 25-yard drive past Joe Hart.
“Sometimes we make a mistake like the referee,” said Mancini. “But the referees make mistakes every week. Probably Liverpool should have stopped because we did not know what was wrong with Dzeko.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: “It was quite clear. Both bodies got tangled up. The referee told the players to play on. There was no injury to Dzeko. It is a shame because it takes away from a brilliant finish.”
Sturridge was outstanding in a game that was festooned with superb goals. Steven Gerrard appeared to have given Liverpool victory with a thunderbolt before Sergio Aguero cancelled it out with an improbable effort of his own after an error by Pepe Reina. – Daily Mail