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Mancini: Manchester City can afford no more slips
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists the Barclays Premier League title race is not over after his side were held 2-2 by Liverpool.
Sergio Aguero's angled strike 12 minutes from time rescued a point after Daniel Sturridge, against his former club, and Steven Gerrard had turned things around after Edin Dzeko's opener. The result means City have dropped further behind leaders Manchester United and the gap is now nine points but Mancini said that was far from insurmountable.
"Absolutely not," was the Italian's response when asked whether the championship was over.
"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."
Dzeko's close-range strike in the 23rd minute was the most routine goal of the afternoon as Sturridge's equaliser, his fourth in six matches since his £12million move from Chelsea, was tinged with controversy.
Mancini felt Daniel Agger should have been punished for a foul on Dzeko but referee Anthony Taylor played on and despite the boos Liverpool declined to put the ball out of play with the City striker laid on the turf and scored several seconds later.
"Liverpool played better than us in the first half but I am disappointed for the first goal," added the Italian. "If Vinny (City's captain Vincent Kompany) did that foul it would probably be a red card. Instead the referee didn't say anything. For 10 minutes he saw all the fouls for Liverpool and he didn't see this. Agger did a foul."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers disagreed with Mancini's version of events regarding their first goal.
"The first goal was clear: both bodies get tangled up, Dzeko thinks it's a free-kick but you're talking about a minute or so after (until Liverpool scored)," he said. "The referee told a couple of players - Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard - to play on which is why they kept going."
Despite failing to hold on having taken the lead from Gerrard's superb 30-yard dipping volley, Rodgers was pleased with the performance, saying: "We were brilliant. The only disappointment is that we were outstanding in our work but mistakes have cost us."
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