Mancini hopes lessons are learnt

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini hopes his team have eradicated "lazy" defending from their game.

Last Updated: 19/11/12 at 08:29 Post Comment

Roberto Mancini: Likes what he sees

Roberto Mancini: Likes what he sees

Despite boasting one of the best defensive records in the Barclays Premier League, the champions and new competition leaders have lacked their usual solidity this season.

Criticism increased after City conceded twice at corners in a damaging 2-2 Champions League draw with Ajax a fortnight ago and then allowed Tottenham to score from another set-piece in their next match.

Their zonal marking system was highlighted as a possible factor, but Mancini believes Saturday's 5-0 win over Aston Villa - a fourth clean sheet in six Premier League games - points to a better way forward.

He said: "We have worked on set-pieces for some time. We conceded because we don't want to do something more to cover - maybe one metre more.

"Sometimes we are so lazy for this. Instead, if we pay attention we are able not to concede a goal.

"Against Tottenham, it was a difficult match. When you have ball possession - Tottenham for 20 minutes did nothing and then the first set-piece they score.

"Like against Ajax, there are these moments. But after their goals we started to play, we scored two goals (in both of those games).

"Against Villa we lost in the Capital One Cup, 4-2. We had big problems.

"Saturday I think we played very well and to score five goals is not easy, never."

City enjoyed a good weekend as the victory over Villa, coupled with Manchester United's surprise loss at Norwich, took them to the top of the table for the first time this term.

Their position was further strengthened as third-placed Chelsea lost to West Brom.

It puts City in good heart for a week in which they play Real Madrid in the Champions League and then travel to Chelsea.

Mancini said: "We wanted one game where we could be so quiet on the bench and for the last 20 minutes it was like this.

"It was important we did a performance and played very well at football.

"I think this is important this for the Barclays Premier League and, it is clear, it is better to prepare for the next game with a game like this.

"But Wednesday will be a different competition and I think it will be hard.

"It is a fantastic week for us and the club and the supporters."


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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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