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Alan Green: Manchester City flatter to deceive

Has the bubble burst for Roberto Mancini or were they wrong in inflating it in the first place?

Saturday night’s emphatic defeat for Manchester City by Everton was a wake-up call for those given to believing the Eastlands’ club might actually challenge for the title.

When I read that Mancini had said as much I wondered if he’d been misquoted or something had been ‘lost in translation’? On Friday, the new Italian coach of City was clear in pointing out that he considered the title to lie between Chelsea, United and Arsenal. City would be battling for fourth place. Quite right.

Before the Goodison loss, City were flattered by a run of easy victories that were equally achievable under Mark Hughes. The run of four games, four wins and only one goal conceded, lost sight of the fact that they hadn’t actually played ‘anybody’. When they’re available again, Lescott and Toure will be back in that defence. Would you be more confident?

Two other considerations; what if Tevez had contributed even half of his recent goals while Hughes was still in charge? And what price Robinho’s future when, on Saturday, he came on as substitute only to find himself substituted?

City for fourth? Don’t bet on it.

Belfast Telegraph