Man City 0 Liverpool 0: Mancini desperate to have Carlos Tevez back

22 February 2010 01:56
  Missing: Carlos Tevez

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admitted he does not know when Carlos Tevez will return from compassionate leave having spoken to the striker three days ago.

The Argentina international has been in his homeland for over a week after his wife gave birth prematurely.

With Tevez's wife Vanesa now out of hospital, although the baby is still in intensive care, Mancini wants the 26-year-old back in England.

However, there is no indication yet as to when the 19-goal strikeris due to return - which is a concern for Mancini with an FA Cup replayagainst Stoke and a trip to Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea inthe coming days.

"I don't know where Tevez is - I think in Argentina," said Mancini after the goalless draw at home to Liverpool.

"It's a big problem for us because we have an important week and we don't have Tevez. For me it is no good.

"Carlos has been eight days at home and I don't know if while in Argentina he has been working.

"I hope Carlos, within the next two days, can come back here because we need him. Maybe he is on the plane.

"I spoke to him three days ago. He had some problems with his family but now it has been resolved and I hope he comes back.

"I think he will come back in two days. I need him."

Race for fourth: Shaun Wright-Phillips (left) battles with Liverpool's Javier Mascherano

That all the post-match talk was about Tevez was an indication ofhow disappointing the encounter between two sides, fourth and fifth atthe start of the day, actually was.

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina made the one genuine save - fromEmmanuel Adebayor early in the second half - of the entire 90 minutesas both teams cancelled each other out.

Desperate: Roberto Mancini

"Against Liverpool it is not easy to win the game - we tried but Liverpool are a good team," said Mancini.

"At the end of the game the draw was the right result as we didn'tconcede any chances to Liverpool and they did not concede any chancesto us.

"We played against a top squad and we played very well, as a team, which is important."

In the first half City were undeniably defensive but Mancini said they had not set out for a draw from the beginning.

"If you want to win first you must not concede a goal," added theItalian. "But I have a big problem at the moment as I only haveAdebayor in attack as Craig Bellamy worked with the team only the lasttwo days, Tevez is in Argentina, Roque (Santa Cruz) has a problem withhis knee."

Fans jeered at the final whistle, as they did in the FA Cup tie against Stoke, but Mancini was not worried by that.

"Today's game was difficult for us because Liverpool are maybe a second or third-placed team," he added.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez bemoaned his side's inability to break downstubborn City.

In stressing his point he highlighted an incident late in the game when substitute Yossi Benayoun was touched by defender Victor Kompany inside the penalty area but continued his run and did not go to ground.

Back in the thick of it: Torres gestures to referee Peter Walton

However, the Reds boss must have been one of the few people in theground who felt his side could have been awarded a spot-kick for aninnocuous challenge which went unnoticed my the majority.

"It was a difficult game. We didn't have clear chances, they didn'thave clear chances, but we had more possession and but for the pass inthe final third it could have been different," said the Spaniard.

Under pressure: Benitez barks out the orders as his opposite number Mancini looks on

"I felt today both teams were defending well and were well organised but the incident with Yossi could also have been different.

"Yossi felt he could have had a penalty. He was trying to continue, you cannot blame the player.

"He was trying to go forward, to score. But we can be talking this for a while, you can say too much."

In truth Liverpool did not create a clear-cut chance to warrant avictory which would have lifted them back up to fourth but at least itensured they did not lose further round on one of their main rivals forChampions League qualification.

"I don't think the result is good for anyone. We both wanted to win and I have to think about the positives," said Benitez.

"We were strong, we did well and we have two players coming back - that is all you can say after the game."

Those two players coming back were Benayoun and striker FernandoTorres, both of whom have been out for five weeks, with rib and kneeinjuries respectively.

Neither really looked like changing the outcome of the result butBenitez was pleased to have them back, especially Torres whom he didnot think would be in contention just over a month since a kneeoperation.

"He (Torres) trained on Friday and he was really good. Early in themorning we thought 'no chance' but watching him in the session he wastrying and going to the floor so we thought 'okay, maybe he can',"added the Liverpool manager.

"But we also had a problem as David Ngog (ankle) was injured and wecouldn't play him so we had to bring Torres with us and because he wasso bright intraining we thought maybe he was worth 15 to 20 minutes."

 Man City 0 Liverpool 0: Advantage Mancini as Reds falter in race for fourthManager Roberto Mancini facing a players' revolt at Manchester CityRobinho sells up for good: £32.5m flop has no desire to return to ManchesterMANCHESTER CITY FC

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44