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Mancini will not give up title

Roberto Mancini is adamant it is not in the DNA of Manchester City to concede defeat in the Premier League title race after Sunday's win over Chelsea.

Last Updated: 25/02/13 at 08:32 Post Comment

Goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez gave the defending champions victory at the Etihad Stadium, where Joe Hart also saved a penalty from Frank Lampard.

City still trail neighbours Manchester United by 12 points but have not given up hope with 11 games remaining.

"We can't think it's finished with 11 games to go," manager Mancini told Sky Sports. "It's not my mentality or the mentality of the players."

Hart brought down Demba Ba to concede the 50th minute penalty but redeemed himself with an excellent save to deny Lampard what would have been his 200th Chelsea goal.

"If they score the penalty, we still had a chance to win because we had another 40 minutes," added Mancini, who has been critical of Hart in the past couple of weeks.

"I think Joe is the best in England and one of the best in Europe and I am pleased for him because he saved a penalty.

"But he could do better before with the long ball; he could be perfect if he wants to."

Mancini added: "In football, it is finished when it is finished: the last minute of the last game. I think our job is to continue to work.

"We worked well this week. It was important to start well - be strong, don't concede anything."

While the result may not prevent speculation over the Italian's future, it did not pile pressure on in the way defeat did for opposite number Rafael Benitez. Benitez's side were far from potent and the unpopular Spaniard was once again subjected to abuse from fans.

He continued to put on a positive face and joked when asked if he was tiring. Benitez, who put John Terry and Fernando Torres on the bench, said: "I was not running so I am fine. I am disappointed because we could not win.

"I am just thinking about the next challenge."

Benitez agreed the game hinged on the penalty, but was unsure if Hart should have been sent off. He said: "I haven't seen the replay, but (it should have been) at least a yellow card. You can argue he is going in this direction but it is still a clear chance.

"I think it was a turning point. It was a crucial moment in the game."

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A

nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

N

ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

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