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Mancini: Win was hard work

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini blamed too many games for their lacklustre victory over relegation threatened Wigan at the Ethiad Stadium.

Last Updated: 18/04/13 at 08:33 Post Comment

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Carlos Tevez struck late on to give the hosts a 1-0 win against unlucky Wigan in their FA Cup final dress rehearsal.

Argentine striker Tevez netted his 11th league goal of the season seven minutes from time to narrow the gap to 13 points between City and Premier League leaders Manchester United, who only drew at West Ham.

But after succesive victories against city-rivals United at Old Trafford and Chelsea at Wembley, Mancini felt his squad were running on empty.

The Italian told Sky Sports: "It was hard work because we were so tired because we played two important games in five days and we played the last game three days ago.

"It was a difficult game but we knew this before the game. Wigan play good football, they play really well.

"Wigan played well every time they want to play to win because they have a good manager."

And when asked about Tevez winning goal, Mancini said: "He's a top quality player and he played very well. He scored a fantastic goal.

"I think we didn't play well for 65 minutes. Instead the last 25 we played very well, scored a goal and created chances."

And the City boss feels confident that the Latics will remain in the Premier League come the end of the season.

"I think they will stay up because I'm sure they will do a good job from now until the end. They play very well and Roberto Martinez deserves to stay in the Premier League."

"Wigan played better than us for 60 minutes. In the last 25 minutes, we played better, we had three or four chances to score but they probably didn't deserve to lose."

Both sides went into the game on the back of emotionally-draining and energy-sapping wins in the FA Cup semi-finals and that showed in a low-key first half.

When asked if there may have been a hangover from his side's game on Sunday, Mancini said: "Probably yes. We spent a lot of energy against Chelsea and it was difficult."

With leaders Manchester United drawing 2-2 with West Ham on the same night after scoring a controversial equaliser, City cut the gap at the top to 13 points.

Mancini dismissed a suggestion the title race could still be alive, although he did joke as he saw a replay of Robin van Persie's leveller for United on a pressroom TV.

He said: "This is not important now, it is finished.

"If they didn't score an offside (goal), probably..."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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