Roberto Mancini not embarrassed by Man City's European exit
Roberto Mancini not embarrassed by Man City's European exit Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says he is not embarrassed by his side's European campaign. City were already out of the Champions League before Tuesday's 1-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund, but a win would have booked a Europa League spot.
Their tally of three points is the lowest ever from an English side in the group stage of the competition. "It can be embarrassing if you don't play at 100%. But when you do play 100%, you can lose," said Mancini.
Man City crash out with new low Manchester City's tally of three points from their six group games replaces Blackburn's record in 1995-96 as the worst by an English team in the Champions League.
Rovers finished bottom of a group containing Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw and Rosenborg on four points, with their only victory coming in their final game against Rosenborg when Mike Newell scored a nine-minute hat-trick. Blackburn previously held the record for the lowest points accumulated by an English side with their four points in 1995. The Lancashire side managed one victory in their six games but City could not. It is the second-successive year that Mancini's side have gone out at the group stage of the competition.
Last season they finished third in a group featuring Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal with a much more respectable 10 points that gave them Europa League qualification. Defeat at the Westfalenstadion on Tuesday meant Mancini's side finished bottom of Group D this season with only three points and no wins from their six group games.
A victory would have seen them finish third again, above Ajax, put them in the Europa League and boosted their co-efficient - statistics used for ranking - crucial for their seeding in European competition next season. But it would also have meant a tiring Thursday-Sunday cycle of up to nine matches were they to have reached this year's Europa League final in Amsterdam.
Despite admitting he wanted to reach Europe's second-tier competition, Mancini believes not qualifying will help them in their bid to retain the Premier League title.
"Clearly this can help us win the Premier League because we don't play in the Europa League," Mancini said.
"But getting into it was our target. We wanted to win."
"At the moment we cannot think about this. We are not in the Europa League and for this we should be disappointed.
"Last season we did better. This year we had a very difficult group and if you make a mistake in the first two or three games it is very difficult." Mancini himself has struggled as a manager in Europe's elite competition and has never got past the quarter-final stage having reached the last eight with Inter Milan twice. However, the Italian remains confident his side will improve on their showing next season - assuming they qualify - and looks to Dortmund as an example of how progress can be made.
"The Champions League can be strange. Last year Borussia Dortmund went out in the first group and were fourth in that group," he said.
"This year, for me, they are probably a team that can win the Champions League."
For now, though, the Premier League is City's focus, starting with Sunday's top-of-the-table clash with neighbours Manchester United.
"Tonight we lost the chance to qualify for the Europa League," Mancini continued.
"But I think that after that, it is important that we only think about the derby. "We have five days to recover our strength, and then I don't think there will be a problem."
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