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Manchester City's Roberto Mancini will not concede title
Published : 24 Feb 2013 17:43:17Rss feed
Manchester City's Roberto Mancini will not concede title By Alistair Magowan BBC Sport at the Etihad Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini said his team's 2-0 win over Chelsea was a vital one and has not ruled out hope of catching Manchester United. Superb goals by Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez, following Frank Lampard's penalty miss, earned victory which means City trail Premier League leaders Manchester United by 12 points. There are only 11 games in which to catch their city rivals but having won the title in stoppage time during their final game of last season, the Italian remains positive. Asked if a 15-point gap would have been too far to bridge, Mancini replied: "Maybe." But he added: "In football it's finished when it's finished, in the last minute of the last game. Forthcoming fixtures Man Utd Man City Norwich (H) Aston Villa (A) Reading (H) Everton (A) Sunderland (A) Newcastle (H) Man City (H) Man Utd (A) Stoke (A) West Brom (H) "If we arrive with four games to go and United are 12 points ahead it's finished, but our job is to continue to work. "For us it's not important to look at the table, only to continue to work like today, to play well and to improve because we can improve. Only this and maybe look at the table in one month." Manchester United have shown few signs of relinquishing their lead, and beat bottom-placed QPR on Saturday to open up a 15-point gap before City's win. Sir Alex Ferguson's side have a favourable run of games in March against teams in the bottom half of the division before facing City on 8 April. Mancini, though, was content to banish memories of the recent 3-1 loss to Southampton when a Joe Hart mistake led to defeat at St Mary's. Hart suffered another scare against Chelsea, as it was the City keeper who brought down Demba Ba for Lampard's spot-kick and he was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch. Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez said Hart deserved "a yellow card, at least". But Mancini, 48, disagreed and downplayed its significance. He argued that his team were on top at that stage of the game although he did criticise Hart for conceding the spot-kick in the first place. He said: "I think the [penalty save] was important because the game could change but also if they had scored, we had another 40 minutes and we were playing really well. We could have had a chance to score other goals. "I don't think it was a red card, the ball was going out and usually in England when the keeper is the last player, the referee doesn't give a foul to the keeper. "We can't concede a penalty like this from a kick from 45 metres. Hart and Kolo Toure both did a mistake, but after [the save] was fantastic."
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